In jr. high and high school, I had a close girl friend named Jana. Jana and I spent a LOT of time together, especially in the summer. She lived across town, but that didn’t stop us. I would hop on my bike and race to her house. I used to time myself, and found that on average, it took me only 4 1/2 minutes to get to her house…before they took down the old wooden bridge over the train tracks, that is.

Anyway, I loved Jana because she was a little bit eccentric and liked to do creative things. We melted crayons and made new colors, baked lots of very colorful cakes and fancy pies, built Lego villages (long after we should have been playing with Legos), went ice blocking (the summer equivalent of sledding), sat on her roof and spied on the neighbors. We also did more normal things:  golfed, rollerbladed, and played tennis. We watched movies and made our own movies. We played pranks on our friends.

But one of the things I remember doing often with Jana was making collages. I think most people have made a collage or two in their life, some school assignment or rainy day project Mom gave them. But we made collages like there was a shortage of them on the earth. My entire closet, as well as the front and back of my bedroom door, was covered with collages we made.


In the midst of our remodeling process, I found a tattered manila envelope full of magazine clippings from the mid-90s that Jana and I had used back in the day.

So Anja and I sat and made collages. And I found Jana on Facebook. She’s still quirky, doing things like roller derby and dressing up strange iwith her husband. That makes me happy.

Anja’s collages made me happy, too. They have the same flavor of oddness that my collages used to have, all eyes and mouths and random limbs. You’ll notice lots of 90s flair in there, too–a Michael Jordan jersey, a young Tiger Woods, David Robinson, Will Smith.

collage A

And here’s my collage. It would have fit right in on my bedroom door. Maybe I’ll even bring it there and hang it with scotch tape (my mom would LOVE that, I know!).

collage H

What kinds of things did you do for fun in high school?

Baby Eating

It is a thick, beautiful day…muggy enough to drink the air.  Time to wake Anja for a picnic snack before it rains!


I’ve been thinking, and sometimes saying aloud, to Markus, how much I love him.  I tell him:

I love your dimply, tight fists more than anybody else.

Your googly eyes make me chuckle.

I’m gaga over your squishy, edible arms.

I love your kiwi fuzz hair, and your little rubbed-bald spot.

I love the smell of your neck, though I rarely see it (haha!).

I can’t get enough of your giant, gummy smile.  It makes my knees weak.

I love the deep creases in your Michelin Man legs.

I could nibble your rotund cheeks all day, waiting for your raspy laugh with each bite.

Even the lint stuck between your fat, pink, healthy toes is cute.

Nobody nuzzles your Daddy-esque cowlick, raspberries your giant belly, gnaws on your smooshy shoulders with as much adoration as me.

I hang on every “word” you utter in your husky baby voice.

I wish each month at this stage could be drawn out to a year (other than the lack of sleep part)…at no other age will I be so treasured as a mother, at no other time will I be so deeply, profoundly the apple of his eye.  I think anyone would eat up that kind of love.

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Since I’m Type A

Of COURSE I’m loving this new site I found called Inspired to Action.  It takes all the thoughts we have about “I really should do this” or “I want to be intentional with my kids about this” and gives purpose, goals, and a call to action before you to get going!  Seriously, check it out.  I think you’ll be as blessed as I am.

Sunday Sunshine – Health Edition 04.25.10

One luxury I am unwilling to give up, sadly, is my fitness membership. I go the gym 3x/week on a regular basis, and though we pay through the nose for our gym, I can’t imagine going without. We don’t have room for a treadmill or an at-home gym, and when I do things like the 30-day Shred, I have to modify a lot of moves to “fit” in the TV room.  Plus, even with at-home stuff, I would never have the ability to use the same amount of muscle groups that the machines and free weights at the gym allow me to.

An added benefit of belonging to our gym is that we get THE SINGLE BEST FITNESS/NUTRITION MAGAZINE I HAVE EVER READ with our membership.  I used to subscribe to Shape and Self back in the day, and while both were fine, I never read those magazines cover-to-cover like this one.  It is full of sensible, balanced advice from well-researched professionals.  There are inspiring stories of real weight loss from people who used diet and exercise to reach their goals.  No get-slim-quick stories here.  And the nutrition articles are top notch.  I get so so so so sick of reading articles about “Top 10 Low-Cal Snacks” in other magazines and finding recommendations like red licorice or a handful of Wheat Thins or other processed junk.  Low-Cal does not equal Healthy, and these writers know that.

Their spiritual advice doesn’t always apply to me, but I just skim past those things and take what’s worth taking and leave the rest.

I’m going to link to some of my favorite 2010 articles I’ve read so far…but feel free to browse around their website (I am not being paid for this plug–I just really like them!), where you’ll find a ton of great stuff.  And if you’re more like me and want to hold the magazine in your hands and see all the pretty pictures, you can subscribe to it without being a Lifetime member.  Without further ado…

Resolutions Workshop 2010

6 “Healthy” Eating Choices to Rethink

From Sedentary to Unstoppable

Fiber: Why It Matters More Than You Think*

8 Ways Exercise Makes You Gorgeous

Detox Done Right

*If you read none of the others, at least look at this one!

In His Steps

I’ve been reading Charles Sheldon’s book by that title as my “nursing book” for the last couple weeks.  While I don’t agree with every principle put forth in this work, I have found myself very compelled by the question “What would Jesus do?”

See, I was of the commercialized WWJD movement, where you wore a nylon bracelet, maybe had a bumper sticker or a t-shirt, and that made you a good Christian.  Reminds me of a Steven Curtis Chapman song, which asks, “What about the change?  What about the difference?”  All those externals are worthless if there is no change of heart.

One paragraph in Sheldon’s book stung particularly, because it hits close to home.  We congratulate ourselves on our giving, our 10% tithe, but do we really sacrifice in any way?  Not just to bring a man a meal, but to bring him the truth of Christ?  For what reason are we shy?  Why are we trying to save face?  Or in Sheldon’s words:

The bishop found his heart sinking within him as he faced this fact: that men would give money who would not think of giving themselves.  And the money they gave did not represent any real sacrifice because they did not miss it.  They gave what was easiest to give, what hurt them the least.  Where did the sacrifice come in?  Was this following Jesus?  Was this going with Him all the way?

This book’s illustrations are not of well-dressed Christians in 3,000 square foot homes going on 10-day “mission trips” and returning, weeping for “those poor people who don’t have any stuff.”  It contains hard questions asked by people without hope.  And others who took a pledge to follow in Christ’s footsteps, even when, in some cases, it really meant selling all they had and moving to the worst part of the city to offer hope.

It’s radical.  And here I sit with my fat, Laodicean heart, waiting for “The Call.”  The call to give, to serve, to LOVE sacrificially.

I am under no illusion that God calls every single Christian to go and live with the poor, meeting physical and spiritual needs.  He uses that money that we earn and give.  I simply don’t want to be so comfortable in my suburban life that I refuse to open my ears once in a while and reevaluate, to make sure that my family is where He wants us.  The Call is for all believers.

“Blessed is that servant whom his master will find doing so when he comes.” – Matthew 24:46

Markus, 3 months

This is a tiny bit late, but that’s okay.  I know you’ll forgive me, because you’re the best. boy. ever.  🙂

Markus, at 3 months, you:

  • are holding your head up quite well, looking around and such.
  • are still fitting in size 2 diapers…barely.  My, you’re a chunk!  I just love nibbling on your rolls.
  • are about the smiliest baby I’ve ever seen.  You stop nursing all the time just so you can smile at me over. and over. and over.  I love it.  I could stare ate your smiling face for hours.  And blessed me, I get to!
  • eat 6-7 times per day, depending how many times you get up in the night (yes, you are STILL getting up in the night).  Your longest stint is usually from your 8:30 p.m. feeding to around 3:00 a.m.  Anytime you’re ready to start sleeping longer, I’m ready!
  • are starting to be more interested in Anja as another person, not just a “big scary being.”  It’s fun to watch you jabber at her to try to get her to interact with you.  She loves to give you big kisses, but she doesn’t have the patience to sit and play with you yet.
  • love watching things dangling over your head, whether they are toys, ribbons, burp cloths, fingers…pretty much anything.  Mommy hopes to make you a mobile one of these days.
  • talk quite a bit.  Your babbles are so cute; they range from “goos” and “gaahs” to little flutters of the tongue when you’re trying to copy my noises.
  • will stick your tongue out at us when we do it at you.
  • differentiate between our voices.  You get awfully excited when you hear Daddy on the phone or when he gets home!
  • are growing your hair back.  Parts of it are still falling out (sad!), but it looks like the new stuff is dark blonde as opposed to brown.  Your eyes are changing color, too, and are kind of a murky mix of blue, brown, and gray.  Anja’s eyes did that and they turned brown.  There goes my dream of a blue-eyed, brown-haired boy!  🙂
  • love it when I give you my thumbs to hold, “rev” them a little bit, and make motorcycle noises.  That gets your biggest smiles!

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Home Cookin’

No matter how busy I am, one thing I make time for is cooking wholesome meals for my family. Last night I made Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Pot Pie (recipe in her cookbook), however, and though it was made from scratch, it veered much more toward “comfort food” than “healthful dining option.” But good gravy (pun very much intended), was it DELICIOUS!

Other meals as of late:

  • Baked potatoes with broccoli and cheese
  • Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes w/bacon, eggs and fruit (another of those comfort foods from the same cookbook)
  • Potato Lasagna
  • Homemade pizza
  • Pad Thai (from Vegan with a Vengeance)
  • Meatless chef salads (we eat that usually at least once a week)
  • Chicken Flautas with guac, sour cream and refried beans
  • Veggie stir fry
  • Fresh-baked bread with veggies and fruit on the side

So though we don’t always eat conventionally (like breakfast for supper, more vegetarian than non), we try to get variety in our diet.  A blessing: Anja eats pretty much everything we eat.  Lately she even asks for more lettuce once she’s finished her salads!  And she really likes veggies and hummus for snacks.  She used to not touch raw carrots, but she has come around and likes them now.  That makes me so happy.  I hope Markus will at least give everything a try when he gets to eating age.

What are your family’s favorite meals?  I’m always looking for ideas!  Especially because we joined a CSA for the summer.  I’m going to have all sorts of new veggies to try out, and I’ll need recipes.