Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Oh my, all this excitement with jobs and what not and I almost forgot my new Tuesday ritual! Presenting a little glimpse of our life inside and outside, every Tuesday of the week. Leave a link in the comments if you're participating.

photo credit for "inside": Zosia

Another New Beginning

I've shared our tradition of taking a picture on the first day of a new job. I can't say that when I posted about Ben's new job a month ago I ever imagined that I would be in front of the camera just a few short weeks later. But, the holy spirit works in unexpected ways, to say the least. As I was talking with the pastor and religious education director at our church, I couldn't help but feel that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. And as the chapel minister at our parish, I will be working among some incredible people, with a congregation that we have been in love with for some time now, working with children and families. And, it's quite part-time, which means that preaching the gospel to my faith community will not interfere with my ability to live it with my own wee ones (I won't even have to find childcare, a huge blessing). Here's to another new beginning!

(For the legalistic, I will confess this photo wasn't actually taken on the first day of my job... with two babies in tow to a friend's house, a daddy who picked them up on his lunch break, there simply wasn't time for the ceremonial photo. So a shot the day after on my way out to play with the kids will have to do.:-)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Celebrating Summer's Bounty

We have been busy celebrating summer's bounty around here. Every now and then we'll catch a cool wind that reminds me that autumn is right around the corner. And while I must admit that autumn is my favorite season, I still find myself grasping at the last few weeks of summer, trying the live them as fully as possible.

Some ways we've been celebrating the bounty:
  1. Weekly meals centered around Ben's homemade pesto.
  2. Darting out to pick tomatoes from the garden before every meal.
  3. Dressing all three girls of the house in summer dresses.
  4. Playing at the pool with friends.
  5. Iced coffee and tea.
  6. Allowing the children to get inappropriately wet wherever we go.
  7. Setting up a picnic blanket and making a makeshift "home" on our summer adventures.
  8. Popsicles (frozen mango juice is our favorite!).
  9. Spending hot days in our shady home organizing every corner of the house.
  10. Feeling entirely comfortable leaving the house barefoot.
How have you been celebrating the season's bounty?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Big Shoes to Fill

Ooh, these look just right...

a bit big, but they say you want some extra room in the toes, right?

I almost have it...I almost have it...

And viola! Just as I had hoped. Perfect.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

waiting calm

I walk into the kitchen to hear their chanting. Husband and three year old in unison:

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved. In quiet and in trust your strength lies.

Him, reading aloud the morning's hours. Her, captivated by the colorful narrative of Isaiah, compelled to join in the exercise. This line has captured their imagination, and they dwell on it together. I shuffle through the room quickly, basket of laundry in hand and tears springing to my eyes.

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved. In quiet and in trust your strength lies.
How often do anxiousness, now waiting, business, not calm, fill my heart? I pile the laundry onto our bed, start haphazardly folding, start listing the things that need to get done: stamps at the post office, dinner to a new mom, dishes unloaded and reloaded. There is always more to do, and yet my spirit craves calm, waiting, quiet.

The verse stays with me through the day, rising to my lips. A domino-effect pileup of mishaps making dinner. Spilled milk, full trashcan, babies under my feet. By waiting and by calm you shall be saved.

A missed nap, a fussy car ride, a disagreement over parenting. In quiet and in trust your strength lies.

The evening brings renewal: a deep breath, a long hug, a sense of perspective. A renewed passion for all of this: the mundane and joyful work of caring for small bodies, creating a home for friends and family, seeking beauty in the must unlikely and most obvious places. Finding my calling right here where I am.

And as I settle into the joy that such realization offers, I am surprised that the sacred words that have gently ushered me out of sorrow are still on my lips.

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved. In quiet and in trust your strength lies.

Yes. They are still true in my joy.

holy experience

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Presenting a little glimpse of our life inside and outside, every Tuesday of the week. Please play along and pass along your link if you are so inclined!

Monday, August 23, 2010


looks like it's going to be just fine. Wow. Three!

(above: birthday songs, birthday crumbs, and a birthday big girl bed)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Left for Dead

She spent three weeks in the trunk of our car. Peak summer temperatures, no light, no water. Left for dead. And this weekend, after dropping off those donations that were haphazardly piled on top of her, we discovered her body. Alive. Still beautiful.

And we are left scratching our heads and asking, "My, but isn't the spirit of life resilient?"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Joyfully Embodied

From today's Hours:

I shall establish my dwelling place among you
and shall not reject you;
-I shall walk among you;
I shall be your God and you shall be my people.

You are the temple of the living God,
as God himself has said.
- I shall walk among you;
I shall be your God and you shall be my people.

Leviticus 26:11-12; 2 Corinthians 6:16

Ah yes, even as I struggle to understand the glory of the body, I am surrounded by little beings who live that glory every day. There's nothing like cold fountains on a hot summer day to bring out the sheer joy of embodiment.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


It happened again. The same tense conversation. Me trying to smooth things over, overly sweet. Her firmly standing ground, making strong statements, burning my olive branches before my very eyes. Who is more at fault? We've had the conversation before, following the same pattern, going nowhere. And with time, it has meant that our friendship has drifted apart.

I left with a tight chest, my breaths shallow and my shoulders raised. I'm sure that my pulse was racing. Years of people-pleasing has left me with few coping mechanisms when people, quite simply, are not pleased. I talk it over with my sister, my best friend, who is a very good listener (yes, I suppose that might be why she is a therapist). Her advice is plain: sometimes these symptoms, the elevated pulse, the tight chest, they are your body's way of telling you something. Yes, of course. I have lived my whole life with this body, through this body, as this body, really, and yet spend most of my time silencing rather than interpreting it. I know that Paul's question is for me: "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple, and that God's spirit lives in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16) No, honestly, I don't always know that. And what then is this temple, this body, telling me?

I know that in the short term, my body was asking me, quite urgently, to walk away from that conversation. Which I did. But in the long term? In the next conversation, the next relationship? I really don't know. And so I left one conversation to enter another, this one with my own body. I am left listening, calmly and quietly, as if for the softest whisper.

Friday, August 6, 2010


We have officially switched over! We found a lovely farming family that lives about an hour west of us and delivers raw (non-pasteurized) milk weekly to a very local drop off (and now I am even a partial owner of a cow! A dream come true ;-). The cost ends up being the same as organic milk from the store, it is so yummy, and intact with all of the beneficial bacteria, antibodies, and nutrients that are inherent to milk. And this particular family also sells grass-fed beef, free-range eggs, and organic butter, all for a tiny fraction of the cost of similar products in the store.

Now, our milk, meat, and eggs will all be produced locally and humanely-- quite a positive step, if you ask me. And did I mention it's delicious?

Our farmer didn't have to invite me twice out to her scenic farm... I'm already planning a visit. She already has five children. Do you think if I'm really sweet I can get her to take me in too?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ten for Today

I'm over visiting the lovely Sara today with my Ten for Today. I hope you swing by to visit!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Beginning

It's a tradition around here for me to snap a picture of Ben on the first day of a new job. Above: this morning, on his way out of the house (Lily doesn't seem quite as excited as Ben). Below: on his way out of our apartment some five years ago starting his previous job (will there be a day that I look back upon today's picture and think Ben looks as fresh-faced as he does in the last?).

It feels a bit like the first day of school. Ben even requested that I give him a haircut last night, isn't that cute? And there is certainly that buzz of excitement: a new workplace, a new work community, a new project. He's thrilled, and that sort of means we all are. And who could complain about the new dress code? A t-shirt and shorts? Yes please!

Monday, August 2, 2010


What could be more energizing than climbing over 800 stone steps through a maze of waterfalls, rock formations, and tunnels? Why, doing it with two small children, of course! Some demon (ahem... baby) possessed Ben and I to race up the last steep staircase-- him carrying Lily, me carrying Zosia-- and I kid you not, there were people at the top who seemed concerned for our safety/horrified by our zeal. But the prize for the day goes to our "big girl" who climbed just about the entire mile and a half by herself, her right foot first on each step. I don't think anyone was complaining that there was a bus that runs from the top back down.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Are there any places you have dreamed about? Perhaps they're from books you've read, movies you've watched, stories you've heard? They can gain a sort of mythic status, these places, growing larger than life in your imagination.

Well, ever since I've been introduced to many of the Moosewood cookbooks, Moosewood, the famous vegetarian restaurant in downtown Ithaca, has been such a place. We have cooked our way through Sundays at Moosewood, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home, and Moosewood Celebrates, falling in love with their creative, healthy, delicious meals. Modified recipes from these pages have made it into our family cookbook, this blog, our thanksgiving table, to mention a few. Even now that we are not a vegetarian family, we still regularly cook from these books.

And now, Moosewood is programmed into our gps, because we actually got to visit! Can you believe it? And it was just as I had imagined: simple, tasty, fresh. It was just like eating supper at a good friend's house, complete with a breezy patio with white Christmas lights. The only thing more heavenly than the Chocolate Ricotta Mousse was the drive back to our cabin through miles of farmland with Ben and jazz music.