Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Squishy, Saggy, Stretchy...and Sensational

I read something tonight on CJane's blog (do you read CJane?)...it spoke to my heart so much that I needed to re-post it here. In a post about her new baby body (she just had a beautiful baby girl), she was not lamenting being extra curvaceous and "squishy" (such appropriate terminology for the post-baby body, by the way). Instead, she says this:

"The more I love her, funny enough, the more I love my body for making her."

I'm requiring myself to repeat that daily until I realize with my head and my heart that a plethora (~plethora~) of squishy body parts, boobs that (although still lovely, mind you) are not where they used to be, and stretch marks across my belly are all a negligible price to pay for the joy of my daughter.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Red Belgian Endives

I told Eric we needed to try a new vegetable when we went grocery shopping, so we (I) decided on Red Belgian Endives! Everything you never wanted to know about Red Belgian Endives.

This guy taught me how to cook them:

And we ended up having them with this:
(baked tilapia and asparagus - before the oven)

And after my feat of cooking the endives (super easy, actually):
ta da!

Verdict: Everyone tried the endives - Eric said he could live with or without them. Sadie didn't want to try them, but because I'm the Mommy, she was required to try them before getting down from her chair. She finally decided they were pretty good (even though she only ate one bite). I think they were delicious...they kind of reminded me of okra in an odd way. Definitely not your average veggie, but I'm excited to have conquered something new.

Baked Tilapia with Asparagus:
3 frozen tilapia fillets
3 slices of lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon
onion powder to taste
garlic powder to taste
parsley to taste
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375. Grease 13x9 baking dish. Place fillets evenly in dish. Melt butter and pour over both sides fish. Sprinkle spices to taste over both sides of fish. Place asparagus in dish around fillets. Place one slice of lemon on top of each fillet. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the top of the entire dish. Bake covered at 375 for 35 minutes (25-30 if fillets are already thawed). Delish.

The tilapia recipe is fantastic for experimentation. You could literally leave out anything but the fish and add anything you wanted and probably couldn't screw it up. Enjoy!

1 bundle Asparagus - $2.50
3 frozen Tilapia fillets - $2.25
1 lemon - $0.75
1lb Endives - $2.50
Total = ~$8 (plus butter and spices)

We got 4 meals out of this (dinner once for all three of us and lunch once for Eric) - $2.00/meal.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

I've been thinking...

...about various things. Here's what's real for me right now:

I want another baby...pretty bad. I want four babies. I wanted four before I turned thirty. I'll be 28 in less than a month. Guess who better have triplets soon?
I used to be embarrassed by what I didn't have growing up. What a little snit! If I could go back in time and talk to my 15 year old self, I'd do it on a day when my Daddy was just pulling up to the high school to drop me off in his beat up old Toyota. I wouldn't speak to myself, I'd just slap myself in the face for being a brat. Then I'd leave myself to wonder, self-righteously, what brought that on.
My husband is in optometry school. One day, Lord willing, he's going to be a doctor, but right now, we are broke as a joke living on a single income in a very expensive city. We live in an apartment that is (by American standards) far too small for our family and all of the junk we have. We're moving in a month - gaining 50 square feet, 20 spare minutes every day off the commute and subtracting $300 extra dollars from our already sparse income. And here's the lesson I've learned: I'm ok with small and modest. The less space you have, the closer you have to get to your family, right?
Today, the three of us were leaving a wedding, hand-in-hand-in-hand, and Eric said to me, "Thank you." And I said, "for what, Honey?" and he goes, "for always understanding me." He'll never tell me what he meant by that because unlike me, he doesn't vocalize his judgment of others. He truly doesn't say anything at all if he can't think of something nice to say. Sometimes it's annoying because I just want him to be human and say something snarky, but most of the time, I'm glad I haven't been a bad influence on him.
Speaking of snarky. Here's a bit of (un?)friendly advice: Modesty is SO becoming. If you can't, in decency, bend over or breathe in your dress or walk upright due to the height of your shoes, please reconsider your ensemble. I remember when I thought that was cute. I think it was back when I was 15 and a snit.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Errant Thought Roundup 11

I love, I love, I hate, I hate
I like, I wish, for goodness sake
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love triple chunk brownies.
I love 76 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature -- I'm pretty sure it's not the name of some awesome store or band).
I hate spiders.
I hate gossip. I know it's human nature to think and talk about other people to "build alliances," but I just think gossip is a hateful way to make friends.
I like classic Disney movies...we're watching "The Love Bug" (1968) right now!
I wish (has been removed - thanks Heather - haha) Please come back for something else I wish next week! ;)
For goodness sake, don't try to manipulate your way to the top - work hard and keep your integrity intact...you'll be much more successful.
I hope tomorrow goes by quickly - we need a weekend!
"I hope you dance." Just kidding, that was so cheesy. I mean, if you want to dance, you should, but far be it from me to use Leann Womack lyrics to make sure you are enjoying life. I hope you are, though.
I pray that my father-in-law's back gets better...it's been really bothering him...
I pray that I would remember what defines me, and not get caught up in the things that don't.
I will start on book 4 of my series tonight....my opinion after 3 books of about 1000 pages each: I don't think you should read it. I mean, I really like it, and I'm going to finish it, but there's stuff about it that you definitely wouldn't like.
I won't set my alarm clock tonight...it will be what it will be.
And for today, I just realized that I have completely forgotten to watch "So You Think You Can Dance this year." I'm the worst cable employee ever - I never really watch TV.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Brighter Day"

I had a rough day yesterday, so my sweet husband sang me to sleep last night...something he hasn't done in quite a few years. It worked so well, I may ask him to do it every night...

Jim Croce is one of Eric's favorites.

On September 20th, 1973 The Grass Roots and Jim Croce flipped a coin to board an airplane in Louisiana. The Grass Roots lost the toss, but Croce and his band lost their lives.

And this is my favorite verse from the song I fell asleep to last night:

Well, there's something that I've got to tell you
Yes, I've got something on my mind
But words come hard
When you're lying in my arms
And when I'm looking deep into your eyes

But there's truth and consolation
And what I'm trying to say
Is that nobody ever had a rainbow baby
Until he had the rain...
~Jim Croce - Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Brighter Day


Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I heard a question on the radio this morning on my way to work.

"If you could say something completely counter-culture that was true for you, what would it be?"

One person said, "People are not inherently good." Another one said, "My body is good enough." You get the idea, right? What would you say that almost no one else in our culture would say? (PS, I agree with both of those sentiments...I don't think people are inherently good, people have to work hard to be good - it's much easier to be bad...and I although I don't think my body is good enough, I certainly want to high-five the gal who said it).

  • What would I say that would be counter-culture, but true for me?
  • I'm not really sure...I'm going to think about it.
  • You're probably more clever than me, what would you say?
  • Speaking of counter-culture...human beings (including my own very human self) are constantly guilty of misplacing their self worth (and the worth of others).
Now where on earth did I put my self-worth? OH WAIT - I found it...it's over here:
- my house (or your house)
- my car (or your car)
- my body (or your body)
- my beauty - or lack therof (or your beauty - or lack thereof)
- my job (or your job)
- my designer clothes (or your designer clothes)
- my adorable (intelligent, well mannered, etc.) baby (or your baby)
- my ethnicity (or your ethnicity)
- my upbringing (or your upbringing)
- my education (or your education)

I made it through this entire list, and then I remembered with utter humility and gratitude that I meet God's standard for my house, my car, my body, my beauty, my job, my clothes, my baby, my ethnicity, my upbringing, and my education. He's happy with me in spite of my lot in life. AND - do you know what's even better? This: YOU also meet His standard for your house, car, body, beauty, job, clothes, babies, ethnicity, upbringing, and education. There's nothing either of us could do or have or become that would make Him love us any more or any less than He does at this moment. Isn't it a shame that because we're so human, we feel the need to ration out value based on a scale that WE created? HA! How silly...

I'm not sure how on earth I made the jump from counter-culture to self-worth, but seeing as how it's hits very close to home for me and makes me want to reassess my outlook on life (you know - "be in the world but not of the world" or whatever it is the youth pastors are saying these days), I figured I should tell you about it.

[end train of thought]

I want you to see this video. Not only is this an amazing song (whose lyrics I cling to when I'm going through a rough patch), but the video is fantastic. The video isn't fantastic because it's ground-breaking and high-budget (it's neither of those things, in fact). The video is fantastic because the people in the video look like real human beings. They meet God's standard of beauty...if they don't meet mine, then I should adjust my standard...because I have to assume that between me and God, God is right and I am wrong.

Walking, stumbling on these shadowfeet
Toward home, a land that I've never seen
I am changing
Less and less asleep
Made of different stuff than when I began
And I have sensed it all along
Fast approaching is the day

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

There's distraction buzzing in my head
Saying in the shadows it's easier to stay
But I've heard rumours of true reality
Whispers of a well-lit way

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

You make all things new

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
When the sky rolls up and mountains fall on their knees
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you

When the world has fallen out from under me
I'll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you
When time and space are through
I'll be found in you


Friday, June 18, 2010

Father Time

Sadie made Eric a watch for Father's Day:
He says he's the Flavor Flav of fatherhood now.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Errant Thought Roundup 10: GUEST POST!

Today's Thought Roundup is brought to you by my friend, Sarah L.!

Today is Sarah's 16th birthday. She is one of the sweetest, kindest, most sincere people I have ever met - yes, at sixteen. She's also a cancer survivor. Please give Sarah some birthday love in the comments section after you read her awesome post!
I love, I love, I hate, I hate
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love it when people are nicer than necessary. I wish this occurred more often. You never know what someone is facing.

I love Disney movies. It’s nice to watch a decent movie without all the curse words and other filth that seems to fill the screens now. Have you seen The Princess and the Frog? If not, you should. It’s definitely one of my new favorites!

I hate ignorance. Just that plain and simple. I hate it when people say things, or do things, without the facts to back them up.

I hate complaining. More than likely, most people don’t have an actual reason to complain in the first place. I wish people would remember that things could always be worse, and life is short.

I like mowing the yard. Kinda weird? But it’s so peaceful. It’s great to have a few hours to just listen to music, think, and pray.

I wish people would sweat the bad things less and enjoy the good things more. There’s a whole world of joy out there that people miss out on because they spend their whole time looking at the ground, focusing on the little-bitty things that won’t even matter five years from now. Look at the big picture, realize how precious the time you have here is, and fill the world with hope. They desperately need it.

For goodness sake don’t outsmart your common sense.

I hope that I become a better blogger than I am! Maybe then I’d have someone to read it(:

I hope I have many, many, many more birthdays. The American Cancer Society is the official sponsor of Birthdays… you should join them, and allow them to be the sponsor of your birthday! Just go to www.morebirthdays.com! After all, “Happy Birthday” is a victory song!

I pray that I make the right decisions in the coming year while I am sixteen years old. I pray that I keep my focus on God, and my priorities in order and gracefully accept whatever comes my way.

I pray for my future husband. I pray that wherever he is, and whatever he’s doing, that he is making the right decisions and staying pure. I pray that he falls as head over heels for God as I am, or even more.

I will work hard and try my best in whatever I choose to do one day.

I won't compromise who I am for anyone else. I’m me- imperfect, yes. I make so many mistakes. But I’m loved, accepted, and adored by the One who truly matters. I’ve got a Savior always on my side, and I’ll follow wherever he leads me.

And for today... I’m going to be happy. After all, “Being happy isn’t about having everything in your life be perfect; it’s about looking beyond the imperfections.”


Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Hi Friends,

If you have posted my button on your blog, I owe you a giant apology for linking it back to my photobucket. I accidentally pasted in the wrong HTML into the scroll box. The code is now correct inside the box.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I really do try to make other people's lives less complicated and not more - I swear.

Thanks for being here...and being awesome :)




Monday, June 14, 2010

The Adventures of Henny Penny - Part II

Henny Penny has been quite the busy gal!

She's been touring the greater Philadelphia area, taking in the sights...here are a few of her favorite visits so far:

Here's Henny Penny checking out the (really creepy looking) Phillie Fanatic!

She also got to see the world's largest LED screen at Comcast Center in Center City Philadelphia:

She also got to see the beautiful City Hall...they don't make 'em like this anymore:

After her first visit downtown, Henny Penny took a trip to Gettysburg, PA! Who knew she was such a Civil War buff??

Here she is posing with a cannon on Confederate Avenue in Gettysburg:

Look! She found something that reminded her of home!

And here she is relaxing with Honest Abe after a long day of traveling:

On her way back to our house from Gettysburg, she took a quick detour through Hershey, PA - home of deliciousness. She may or may not have picked up some chocolate for herself (she is a girl, after all).

This past weekend, we thought Henny Penny might be starting to miss her fellow animals...so we took her to the Philly Zoo!

Here she is at the Philadelphia Zoo - the United States' oldest zoo:

She had such a great time! She even saw a real Philadelphia Eagle:

And she got to see some petting animals at the "children's zoo". She became fast friends with the sheep:

...But, of course, her favorite part was seeing the chickens! They don't have her species (rubber) there...I think they were all jealous of her. She was dressed MUCH better than they were...

And here she is being silly with Sadie in a face cut out - aren't they cheesy?

Stay tuned to see how Henny Penny finishes out her adventures in PA!!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

"Daddy...I have an idea!"

Further proof that grown men will do just about anything for their little girls...

Sadie: "DADDY...I have an IDEA!!!"
Eric: "What's that, Sadie?"
Sadie: "Let's make you a SPIDER-MAN bracelet!"


Saturday, June 12, 2010

~ 6.12.04 ~

There are days when I get in the shower and think to myself, “I’ll use all the hot water…that’ll show him!” And then, much more frequently, there are days when I think about the people I could have ended up with and think to myself, “Thank you so much, God, for not giving me what I wanted until what I wanted was Eric…” Oddly, sometimes those two thoughts even occur on the same day…

He was nineteen when he took the ring to my parents’ house to ask my Daddy’s permission to marry me. Nineteen! We had been dating for two years, and I had gone to Paris, France to live with a host family and study French at the Sorbonne. When he came to visit me in Paris right after his 20th birthday, I had suspected that he might be bringing a ring with him. As we were walking along the quays of the Seine River, beside of Notre Dame Cathedral and under a perfect little bridge called the “Pont au Double,” he pulled out a diamond (several diamonds, to be accurate), and asked me to marry him. October 19th, 2002.

Over the next two years, I vividly remember having at least a dozen “tentative elopement” dates written on my little pocket planner, but each one of the tentative dates would pass without nuptials, and I would resolve myself to the fact that “we’ll be ok to wait until the next one.” Somehow we managed to wait until after we graduated college…mostly because we were petrified that our parents would string us up for eloping. In fact, of all the fatherly advice Eric had received over the years, the piece I remembered the most was, “don’t leave school for a skirt.” So…we gritted our teeth, and in a flurry of school projects and wedding planning, we made it through the last two years of school (at separate universities), and graduated in May of 2004.

On June 12th, 2004, I became his wife – Mrs. Eric "I"– at the wise old age of twenty-one. I have been asked at least a hundred separate times if I thought we were too young to get married…for the record, I want you know that there has never been a moment in our marriage when I thought we should have waited for even another second to marry. To the contrary, the two of us and St. Paul would have preferred us to wed sooner.

We had a beautiful wedding – I had the most stunning bridesmaids any bride has ever had (what was I thinking?). Everyone we loved in the world was there…our families, our friends, probably some random people our moms threw in for good measure.

I count myself wholly blessed to be able to say that I wake up every morning more in love with my husband than I was the day before. Even when things aren’t perfect, they are still undergoing the (strenuous) process of being perfected. I’m not so ignorant as not to know exactly what I am fortunate enough to have in my husband…and I think he would say the same about me…even when he hopes he uses up all the hot water before it’s my turn.

For Eric:

June 12th, 2004 was wonderful. It was wonderful, and I would do it all over again in an instant…but I would change something. I would change my preoccupation with our wedding, and I would focus on our covenant. What I know now at 27, I had no way of knowing at 21: it’s not about the wedding. I am sure I will learn a million more life-altering truths before the next six years have passed, but at this moment, this is the one that is important to me. I would forsake thinking about the flowers, and the cake, and the dress, and the attendants, and the invitations…all of the minutiae that floods a bride’s mind when she’s trying to make sure she has the day she’s dreamed of (and, truth be told, trying to make sure that all of the right people are sufficiently impressed) on her big day. At 27, I would give all of that up. It was exciting, and it did truly make me happy to be planning something that was so significant to both of us, but you, love, are the thing about my wedding that gave me butterflies. If I could do it all again, I would meet you somewhere at a predetermined time with nothing in the world in my head except for the truth of the oaths I was about to make to you. And every intimate vow I would make to you would be for God and for you – no one else. …And I would have summed it all up by making this promise: I will cherish you with my words, my thoughts, and my actions, and I will expect the same in return.

I am so thankful for you. Happy 6th, my love.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Errant Thought Roundup 9

I love, I love, I hate, I hate
I like, I wish, for goodness sake...
I hope, I hope, I pray, I pray
I will, I won't, and for today...

I love that Eric took the entire day today to go to Gettysburg and Hershey, PA with Henny Penny. Just Eric, the camera, and a paper rubber chicken.
I love it when I walk into the bathroom at work and the light comes on...which means no one has been in there. I love it even more when I walk in, the light comes on, AND the toilet seat in my favorite stall is still up from being cleaned. Seriously - it's about simple joys, right?
I hate that hairy legs aren't considered beautiful in western culture. My life would be so much easier.
I hate being the last mom at the preschool at the end of the day.
I like our Mii family! Cute, right?
I wish we could find a sitter for this weekend...I really want to go on a date Saturday night for our anniversary! Any takers?
For goodness sake, what is up with the teenyboppers usingg extra letterrrsss in alll theirr wordsss? I don't get it. Side note: If you are teenybopper who does this, don't worry - I did ridiculous stuff when I was a teenager too. I remember when it was cool for a minute to tuck just the front of my shirt in. Not the back. I'm not sure why it was cool, but for just a second it was. I'd much rather you use extra letters in all your words than do drugs. If those are your choices, you keep those extra letters, kiddo.
I hope I can find someone to do the thought roundup next week...do you want to do it? If so - just let me know :). I think my thoughts are getting boring - I'd rather hear yours!
I hope the relationship between the Wii yoga training chick and Eric doesn't get any more serious than it is right now...he's super flattered every time she compliments his "balance."
I pray too little.
I pray that the DeBaeremaeker's have a safe trip up - we can't wait to see them!!
I will be in downtown Philly tomorrow. Yay for $20 a day parking!
I won't eat liver...my dad tried to explain to me why liver was better than sausage in terms of the "what the heck am I actually eating?" factor, but that just makes me not want to eat liver OR sausage.
And for today...I love the hours of 6:15pm-7:45am.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Showers Cause Rainbows?

I know you're not going to find this nearly as exciting as I did, but I discovered proof positive that I'm going to be an eccentric old lady tonight. I was in the shower with an assortment of shampoos, body washes, detangling combs, and razors when I realized something:

When I line our shower products all up in a row, they make a rainbow!

(Yes, I do have three razors in the shower. They were probably all free. I would like to take this brief moment to thank Katy Bowman for allowing me to live free from paying for razors ever again...all I have to do is wait for a cartridge sale now!)


Monday, June 7, 2010


I did it. I submitted my kid for a photo contest. I know, I know what you're thinking. And to be honest, I was torn between "should I just go ahead and put her in a tiara and a poofy sequin dress and cover her with 5lbs of makeup?" and "this is totally harmless - I'm just proud of my kid and this is a fun thing to do!" The "this is harmless..." side won out. Here are the pictures I submitted:

I know I'm biased, but I think this kid is pretty stinkin' cute :).

If our photo gets enough votes, we could win a trip to New York! I hate to be a nag - but could you vote for us here?


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