Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mrs. Potato Head (incognito)

Eileigh received Mrs. Potato Head for Christmas... her favorite part being the tater's glasses, which she frequently likes to wear herself and occasionally fit on her dolly, her Daddy, or her baby sister.

The reasons I get up in the morning:

And at midnight... and at 2:30am... and at 5:30am... and every second is worth it.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Insights from a refrigerator

I wanted to share an excerpt from a book I'm re-reading that really moved me recently (read: encouraged me at the same time I bawled my eyes out... but my emotions are a bit raw lately). I hope it touches you the way it touched me. The author writes about the scene she gazes at as she looks at her picture-covered refrigerator.

As I pondered the scene before me, I was struck with the wonder and significance of the family- for better or worse. The family is at the heart of what really matters to all of us. If things aren't well at home, every other area of life is affected. I looked at those scores of women sitting like mother hens surrounded by their brood of young ones, and I felt an enormous sense of gratitude for the willingness of those women to be givers and nurturers of life.

In the middle of all the photos, I have placed a bumper sticker you may recall seeing several years ago: "Life: What a Beautiful Choice." These women have chosen life by bearing children (something only a woman can do, I might add); and they are choosing life every day...
  • with every meal they prepare;
  • with every load of dirty clothes they wash;
  • with every trip they make to the grocery store, to school, to the dentist, to piano lessons, to soccer practice, or to the shoe store;
  • with every scraped knee they bandage;
  • with every encouraging word they speak;
  • with every hour they spend rocking a sick or scared child;
  • with every dispute they arbitrate;
  • with every moment they spend building Legos, coloring, helping with math problems, reading a Bible story, or listening to a husband or child describe his day;
  • with every moment they spend interceding for the spiritual growth and protection of their family.
Day in and day out, they are building a home; they are being lifegivers; they are laying a foundation and building a memorial that will outlive them for generations to come; they are honoring their Creator in the greatest possible way.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meatballs and Italian "Focaccia" Bread

I wanted to post a couple recipes that we have been living off of and loving since Selah's birth. Before she was born I'd made up a batch of the Meatballs and stuck them in various portion sizes in our freezer so we've been able to enjoy several dinners out of them. The Bread is so easy to whip up I've been making it often to compliment a variety of different meals. Eileigh loves both and calls the bread "pizza".


2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 c. ketchup
3/4 c. oats
2 Tblsp. chopped parsley
2 Tblsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork (I generally just use 3 lbs. of whatever meat I have on hand- usually elk)

1/2 lb. brown sugar
1 jar chili sauce (I use Heinz)
1 can beer

Mix all ingredients together (except sauce) and shape into balls. Place on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes. Place baked meatballs in crockpot and cover with sauce ingredients. Cover and heat through.

Italian "Focaccia" Bread

2-1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tblsp. Quick-rise yeast
1 c. warm water (120-130 degrees)
1 Tblsp. vegetable oil

1/4-1/3 c. prepared Italian salad dressing
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried thympe
Dash of pepper
1 Tblsp. grated Parmesan
1/2 c. shredded mozarella

In bowl, combine first four ingredients. Combine water and oil; add to flour mixture. Add additional flour if needed to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface, knead for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Punch dough down; place on greased 12-inch pizza pan and pat into a circle. Brush with dressing. Combine seasonings and sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Sunshine.. On My Shoulders..

Makes me happy!!! This last week we enjoyed several breathtakingly beautiful days of sunshine that were a welcome break from the drizzling rain. It stayed fairly chilly so we made sure to "button up" but the fresh air was a great remedy for our cabin fever. Mike spent the days working to complete the railing for our back deck and Eileigh skillfully managed to interrupt him as much as possible. They had a great time together. Eileigh spent most of her time mixing the three different sizes of screws together, moving the pieces of railing around, getting just this close to falling off the edge of the deck, and keeping up a steady stream of chatter to entertain us with. The girls and I were also able to go on a few walks to the park where Eileigh could swing and slide and Selah continued to sleep. The rain is back this week but we are looking ahead to brighter days!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today: Six weeks!!!

Six weeks and 3 Lbs. heavier: 10 lbs, 4 oz!!

Little Lady...Bug

Coming Soon:

I'm soon to be back in the blogging action! I'm currently working on Selah's birth story and have lots of pictures, stories, recipes and other mildly interesting thoughts to share!! Hoping to post soon... I better go, the baby just woke up!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Introducing: Selah Rae

Oh, how many times I've gazed longingly at the computer in hope of getting my blog back up to speed... all in vain as I'm consistently pulled away, either by the sound of baby cries or even worse: the absence of noise from my two year old. As of this moment, it is quiet in the house. Eileigh is in bed and down for the night, her singing and talking completed for this day. Selah is sleeping (however momentarily is yet to be seen) and Mike is saving lives on shift until tomorrow.

Have you ever experienced a time in life when every day seems the length of eternity but somehow time still manages to fly and before you know it a week or a month has gone by? That is where I've been living for the last month or so. I can't believe it's already been 6 weeks since Selah came into our lives. The quick stats: Selah Rae (the Rae after my Dad's middle name) was born January 13th at 4:07 am and weighed 7lbs, 4oz and measured 21 inches in length. She was born via breech waterbirth and came out bottom first! During pregnancy she was positioned with her head up, knees bent and both her feet and bottom down so it was a toss up whether her feet or bottom would arrive first; we're so thankful it "ended" up being her hiney!! We had so many people praying for us and I know this was just one of the many, many ways God answered prayers.

It had been an intense process to make the decision to labor and deliver instead of opting for a C-section. We researched a lot, discussed even more, and prayed a ton. My emotions went through the wringer- so much of it based in fear. Fear that something would go wrong and I would lose the baby (something that could have been prevented had I had a C-section) and feeling like I had to make the choice between my wellbeing or the baby's. I found solace in the Psalms as God comforted me in my desperation through His Living Word. I realized that no matter the decision we made, God was Sovereign, completely in control of every event and circumstance and He would choose the outcome- whatever that may be. I also came to the realization that no study or statistic could tell us what our outcome would be- we simply had to make the choice and allow God to carry us through to the finish line. Mike and I were introduced to Jennifer, a midwife and- most importantly- someone with extensive breech birth experience. After intensely discussing our questions, fears and concerns with her, Mike and I both came to the empowering conclusion: I would birth naturally. I felt an overwhelming peace knowing that the decision had been made and Mike and I were in complete agreement.

My water broke on a Tuesday at 8:00am after a restless and mostly sleepless night. I thrilled at the knowledge that The Beginning has begun... and cringed at the thought that The End was coming. After excitedly notifying family, I settled in to wait for contractions to begin. And waited. And waited. The day went by. Mike and I cleaned the house like crazy. I finished packing and Mike completely loaded the truck, carseat and all. Dinner time arrived; I made dinner and invited my parents over to share. Evening came. I ate a can of pineapple, having read there may be a prostaglandin-like response to it. By 10:00pm I headed downstairs for a bedtime snack of Cornflakes, honey and milk. I munched on a few bites and suddenly felt a big shift or pop or something! I immediately had strong, wrap-around back pressure for the next five minutes and knew labor had begun. We headed to bed at 11:00 but by 11:45 I called Patricia (our other midwife) and told her my contractions were about 2 minutes long and getting closer and closer together. When she checked me at around 1:00am I was dilated to 5cm and she could feel Selah was presenting butt first- a welcome announcement! I labored for awhile and clambered into the tub when it became more intensely painful. I remember thinking it was a strange thing to have such an intense contraction to work through and then once the contraction was over I was able to converse and felt rather like a normal person. I certainly didn't feel that way laboring with Eileigh- probably due to being induced with Pitocin. Laboring with Eileigh felt like I never got a break. Definitely a vote for natural labor! :) By the time I was ready to push Mike was sitting on the edge of the tub behind me and alternating between supporting me and putting REALLY firm counter-pressure on my back. I could feel her moving slowly down the birth canal and after what seemed like an eternity (but was about 10 minutes of pushing according to Patricia's watch) her bottom emerged first and then her legs followed (kind-of falling out the side) and she was born to her tummy. The next pushes and out were the arms and shoulders to the nape of the neck. At that point it felt extremely hard to push her head out since I didn't really feel the urge to push like I did before. Jennifer reached down and said Selah was born to the nose and encouraged me to PUSH! I pushed harder than I ever have or thought I could and finally she was out and in my arms. I kissed, greeted and talked to her as the midwives assessed her and gave her a little blow-by oxygen. By 1 minute her APGAR was 8 and she was peacefully laying against me. I rested in the birthing tub in blissful exhaustion, so happy and thankful to finally be embracing our new little miracle.

Fresh out of the water

Jennifer, one of our two incredible midwives

Sleeping with Daddy

First outfit

Eileigh and Selah meeting for the first time- Eileigh was thrilled, to say the least

A few hours old

Eight days old


The cat has adjusted quickly...