Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Time Well Spent

Where does my time go? It's a question that has been nagging me for some time now. During the day it is easy for me to understand where time goes. I am always going from one activity to the next: playing with Haven, preparing a meal, cleaning, shopping, taking a bike ride, reading, folding laundry, putting away toys, taking a walk. Rinse, repeat. Some days pass slower than others, but for the most part our days are full.

Time speeds up when Cale walks in the door. Or maybe it's the fact that there is so much more to do, compressed into fewer hours. Food to be cooked and eaten. Conversations to be started and finished. Playing to do. Baths to give. Bedtime stories to be read. Tickles and giggles and kisses to be cherished. In some ways, it's easier to enjoy Haven when we are all together. The Mutual Admiration Society of Haven is now in session. We can share the load of parenting. I can let someone else discipline her. Someone else runs to her when she cries. Someone else can try to keep her from climbing on top of the kitchen table. I relax a little more, don't pay as much attention to the details. Just enjoy her. Enjoy us- our family, this life that we live together.

There have been lots of those moments lately; just taking it all in. The goodness that fills my life and the joy there is in the simple things. I just need to slow down enough to appreciate it. Maybe I am more aware of late because we are going to leave Haven for five days over the next week. It's the longest we will have left her, but she'll be in good hands at her Nana's house. And it is going to be some excellent caleandkate time. All of us have much to look forward to.

Especially coming home together, where we can just be us.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The pool and some poo

Yesterday we finally broke out Haven's little pool in the backyard. It hasn't really been super hot here lately, so we haven't had a real chance to use it until now. The pool was a major hit and she spent a happy hour in it yesterday afternoon and then took another dip after dinner.

It was really warm again this afternoon so I thought I would let her play out there for a bit before nap time. She was having a great time splashing around and dumping water all over herself. After about 20 minutes she decided it would fun to step in and out of the pool. I firmly told her this was not a good idea and that she needed to sit back down and play. After the fifth time of her in-and-outness, I decided I should get up and physically make her sit down in the pool. It was then that the smell hit. And I realized why she didn't want to sit down in the pool anymore. And I got nervous about what awaited me.

This discovery was made while on the phone with Cale. Needless to say, I all but hung up on him as I rushed Haven inside to see what deposits she had decided to make. Now I was a nanny for several different families before we got married. I have had to deal with my fair share of poo in bodies of water (usually bath tubs, which I can now say is a much worse situation). But my sweet Haven had not yet made me deal with this particular situation. Until today. When Haven swims she wears a washable swim diaper. This has worked well for us. Until today. Actually, it did do it's job today and will hopefully come clean in the wash and live to do it's job again.

I won't gross you out with the details, but let's just say we didn't come in a minute too soon. And it took a towel, several wipes and a rug to get her cleaned up. And then everything was immediately thrown into the washing machine. The pool water dumped, and the toys sanitized.

That's a lot of work for such a little pool, and such a little person! She's worth it though!

Pool fun before the *incident*!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


A friend sent me this recipe the other day and I decided to make it for house church tonight. It was appetizers night and I thought it would be a big hit. It was and I highly recommend it. So here you go:

Artichoke Dip
1 Cup mayo
1 can of artichoke hearts drained and chopped
1 clove of garlic minced-I used three because we like garlic
1/3 Cup chopped onion
1-8oz block of cream cheese, softened ( I used reduced fat and it was great)

bake @ 350 for 20-25 minutes(til brown and bubbly)

Super good and easy! And now I have officially joined the recipe on my blog trend. Enjoy!

Friday, July 27, 2007

What's for dinner?

I've got cooking on the brain. Not sure if it's because I just put this peach cobbler in the oven or because I just changed my mind and decided to fix this for dinner. Or maybe if it's because every blog I like to read has been posting recipes of late. It's quite the trend and one that I want to get in on. Seeing all these delicious sounding recipes just reinforces an issue that I am currently dealing with...what to fix for dinner?!

But it's not in the sense you might think. I am having a hard time narrowing it down each week when I do my meal planning. I get a plethora of magazines with lots of great suggestions. I occasionally watch a tv show with more great ideas. I have stacks of cookbooks in my pantry. And then there are the folders and folders of recipes on my trusty laptop. How to pick just six for a weeks worth of meals?!! There is always something new I want to try, while not leaving our old favorites in the dust. Thankfully, Cale is easy to please and has only once not eaten something I fixed. (And to defend myself, it wasn't something I cooked- it was a sauce mix from Trader Joe's that we both found disgusting.) He certainly has his favorites, but he's definitely got an easy to please palette and he's also willing to try new things without coercion. It sounds silly, but it truly is delightful to cook for someone who really likes everything you make and is not shy in telling you as much.

Anyways, back to my dilemma... too many good recipes, too few nights of the week. I guess I just need to be thankful for options and variety and it will all work out in the end. There's always tomorrow night!

Now dinner is over and our bellies are full of Pepper Pasta Salad, some yummy bread from Panera and this delicious dipping oil. It was the first time I made it, but I think it will be come a regular fixture around here. Our peach cobbler is going to have to wait awhile for things to settle down.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Life with Haven is full of transitions. The last few weeks have found us putting away baby toys and moving up to a bigger shoe size. She is eating tons of new foods (she loves spaghetti squash!) and is almost done with the bottle. She exerts her will in amazing and terrifying ways each day. She has started to string words together in primitive sentences. "My-papa-go-bye-bye." My baby is growing up.

And the biggest transition... moving from two naps to one. Oh, how I have resisted! I am still not all that big of a fan. I have been in a good rhythm with the two nap scenario. Haven was not a big routine person for a large part of her life. In fact, she still isn't in many ways, which I like. I prefer to call it flexible. So when she started to nap like clockwork at 10am and 3pm it was fabulous. I had a system, a plan, a way to fully utilize my *free* time. (Free to clean without a toddler chasing you down. Free to shower without someone opening the shower curtain every 20 seconds. Free to fold laundry without it being picked up and thrown around the room. You get my drift?!)

One nap at 1pm-ish is a whole new ball game for me. I admit that the biggest part of the struggle is in my selfishness. I hold tightly onto "my" time and am not all that thrilled about rearranging my schedule. As I write this I realize again how skewed my thinking can become. My sinful, selfish nature at it's finest.

But I am confident that we will overcome (by we I mean, me and Jesus and really, mostly Him) this bump along the way. We will come to a point where this newness will become normal. Where I don't hold so tightly onto things that don't really belong to me anyways. Where I will be thankful for every second I get to spend with my sweet daughter. Where there is, hopefully, a lot less of me and a lot more of Him.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday ramblings

I am having a hard time believing it's Wednesday already. I kept thinking in the back of my mind that I needed to get around to writing a post. It never happened. There's no lack of material; I always feel like I have 5 different ideas swirling around in my head. It just hasn't been important to me to translate those thoughts into cohesive sentences for anyone else to read. Sometimes that's important to me; lately, not so much.

The bottom line is that I've just chosen to spend my time doing other things. Today was filled with wonders of domesticity as I baked bread and scrubbed the kitchen on my hands and knees. I have been spending more time just relaxing and reading with Cale. Amber and I went out to a movie last minute Tuesday night. Cale and I had a date night. Haven completed her first masterpiece- she finger-painted for the first time. We've spent hours playing on the porch enjoying her new elephant slide. She laughed the entire way upstairs as she experienced her first piggy-back ride. Plans are being made for our anniversary trip. Little projects are being crossed off my to-do list. I'm enjoying cooking and going out to the back yard to get fresh herbs for dinner.

And as a totally random side note, Cale and I have a new favorite. We are attempting to procure Charlie and Lola DVDs because we watched the show once at my brother's house and haven't stopped talking about it. Charlie, I'm far too busy coloring-in to do computers. (Yes, it's a children's show and Haven doesn't watch tv, but we love it anyways! The accents, the catchy English phrases; what's not to love!?!) We know we're dorks, but we're totally okay with that.

And because this post is just so random, why not finish it off with a completely unrelated photo?! Well, not completely unrelated because Gibson and Haven are standing on the aforementioned slide in the picture. And they are cute, so what more do you want??!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

A Slow Return

Today is a good day. We are officially back in the land of the living and I am feeling like a productive member of society; well, a productive member of my household at least. It's been a slow week, days passing almost as if in slow motion, with little change from day to day. Health being restored to each of us in small doses until finally waking up feeling good once again this morning.

Two weeks removed from our "normal" life makes me all the more appreciative of the mundane today. A thankful heart for a trip to Panera for breakfast (and let's not dwell on the fact that Haven randomly puked right in front of the door as we were going in- remember- we're healthy here!). Enjoying the coolness of this summer's day and grateful that Cale has time and the willingness to get some much needed projects done. Accomplishing small tasks like cleaning and reorganizing a few drawers in the kitchen and putting pictures in photo albums. Lunch together on the back porch. Running errands together. Looking forward to church tonight.

A day of small things, but none are going unnoticed or unappreciated. It's good to be home.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Our vacation: In Pictures

Haven living it up at the pool.
My show-off brothers
My nephews, J and E
Cale and Haven swimming in the lake
Silly girl
The sweet baby of the family, little O

The big kids- J, E, A and A

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Our Vacation: The Good, the bad and the ugly

The Good:
-Swimming, tubing, and boating for three full days
-Watching my 30+ year old brothers act like 10 year olds (proof to follow)
-Cousins having endless hours to play together
-Staying up way too late playing Pictionary (we all forgot how fun that game is!), Apples to Apples and Taboo
-A house big enough for us all to have our own space
-Celebrating birthdays with a Spider-man cake and a princess cake
-Having our "tent time" on Nana's bed and the kids loving it
-Painting with kool-aid
-Sleeping in almost every day thanks to the wonderful Cale
-Talking about next year's vacation plans

The Bad:
-Sun-poisoning and burns even when one was responsible enough to use SPF 30 sunscreen
-Coming home sick
-A leaky roof when it really stormed
-Only one book read, start to finish...not enough time!

The Ugly:
-Bugs, bugs everywhere! And seeing as how we weren't camping in the great outdoors this seemed unnecessary. Lots and lots of centipedes and inch worms! Haven became quite proficient at picking them up and carrying them to the trash.
-Ending our week with sickness and spending the last several days cooped up in the house...ugh.

Pictures to follow soon!