Saturday, August 15, 2009

First Haircut

It wasn't as traumatic as some might think it would be. Her new "bob" looks pretty grown up, but then again, so did hair past her shoulders.

The odd layers of baby hair and new hair, combined with the strange piece that hung straight down the middle of her forhead spurred me to make an appointment for Kayla's first haircut. Every girl should have the option of wash & wear I think! :D

Kayla liked the cape (or Doggie bib) that she got to wear as she sat on my lap. She did well while Jodi "combed" her hair. She doesn't really know what it means that she got her haircut, but whenever someone tells her they like her new haircut she say "Jodi brushes". ;)

Contextual Affordances

This summer I took a career counseling class and my professor emphasized the value of "contextual affordances" -basically life experiences. The more life experiences we have, the more varied these experiences, the more we have to offer and vocationally speaking, the more insight we have into who we are and what we want.

I can't help but see things through the counseling paradigm these days! :) I know we have all sorts of things that we should do: organize our shed, thoroughly clean the house, pay off remaining debts, etc BUT I can't help but to recognize the value in traveling and having new experiences.
While living in Evansville, I developed a very special friendship with a colleague at the University of Southern Indiana. Chris and Ryan developed a friendship as well over the years and we took advantage of his recent relocation to Rhode Island to make a visit. Using hotel points and airline miles, we made plans to visit Chris & his girlfriend Sherri early August.

Ryan & I stayed with Chris in Providence and we double dated in Newport, RI our first night. I loved our harbor tour where we learned the history of the many wealthy people that owned the enormous mansions and yachts. Jackie Bovier Kennedy's family had a home here and her wedding reception (for 900) was held there. We saw light houses, ate fresh sea food and shopped little stores with overpriced artsy items which made for entertaining window shopping.

The next day we all took the Samuel Adam Brewery tour and then walked Boston's historic Freedom Trail, learning much of the town's history and significant role in the Revolutionary planning and war. On our own, that night, Ryan and I people watched at a Catholic festival in the Italian district and eventually ended up walking to Feneuil Hall where we ate some Boston creme pie and sipped wine as we people watched. Our last day was spent in Cambridge, enjoying the little shops and restaurants. We loved Curious George's Bookstore, where we wanted to get Kayla every board book we picked up. We ended up with: The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Busy Busy Kitties, Hello Boston and Hippos Go Berserk. That night we did the "tourist thing" and visited the original Cheers bar and took advantage of the beginning of restaurant week in Boston by having a very reasonable 3 course meal at a fabulous restaurant. We loved that we could walk almost anywhere. The houses were fascinating on the cobble stone streets with the gas light street lamps. We both would have loved to live in a big city, but sense the practicality of that being close to none. I guess since we can't live in these fascinating locations, the best we can do is save up some "points", blow off our chores and get out of town to stretch us, enhance us and entertain us. I'm glad we went and thankful for the contextual affordances!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


So I am convicted of not being very good at blogging lately. All is well with me and the family. Ryan & I managed to both get pink eye, yet avoid passing it to Kayla this spring. I finished my 2nd semester of my counseling program and am in the middle of 6 weeks of summer school now.
(Water park in Arlington Heights, IL)
(Kayla & her cousin @ Nana & DadDad's new place: Sleepy Hollow, IL)
I had an 8 day visit with my family in their new home in Sleepy Hollow in May and in early June, Ryan, Kayla & I spent a week on the beach in Indian Rocks Beach, FL. I'm getting in the groove of summer and enjoy Tuesday mornings at the pool with other moms/kiddos, every other Wed. in a mom's Bible study and every other Friday with moms discussing practical ways to be better 'homemakers' (for lack of a better word).

I am learning the importance of rest/balance between working hard and allowing myself to recover. I lean towards the self-protective bent of not pushing myself "too hard"! booo I guess there are areas I do better at pushing than others (motherhood & school) and areas where I know I need to grow (daily time with God, eating, exercise).

Kayla is lots of fun as a toddler. She has lots of words and is very playful. She loves to "spin around" in circles if you clap for her, to hide and jump out yelling "boo", and to make Ryan and I kiss and hug for her amusement. We play a lot in the ball pit, with her Little People farm animals and books. Lately she's loving the Dr. Suess "ABC Book", a Toddler Bible and Karen Katz anything. It's always fun finding cute little outfits and accessories for her. I'm happy to get her in pig tails recently and the high pony tail is just within reach. :D

I need to go read for my career counseling class and get ready for the 60 minute road trip. Maybe my mom will keep me company on the phone...if not, there is always my Dave Ramsey podcast!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Remembering (my Facebook post pasted here)

Once again, the anniversary of that horrible day in 2002 has arrived, the night I found my best friend and husband’s body cold and lifeless in our home office. Seven years have now passed and the shock is gone, but the memory continues to be surreal. The sequence of events plays out in my mind like a lame Lifetime movie drama. The Shakespearean instinct to end my life along with my Romeo, the chilling cry of a mother learning of her son’s death over the phone in the middle of the night, the strangers who were his coworkers sitting in my living room making calls to prepare the church for the shock of this loss that very morning… So many hurtful things were said and done, so many healing things were said and done. I am who I am now because of both.

Each year I am uncertain how to commemorate this significant day. Oddly enough, Facebook is giving me a very therapeutic outlet. It’s such an impersonal venue for sharing deeply felt emotions and thoughts, yet I realize so many of you knew and loved Jeff (and me) and now there is a unique opportunity for us to share together again in this experience of remembering. I wondered if anyone might like to share with myself and others a trait they enjoyed in Jeff or a memory of your time together.

It is my joy (and would have absolutely been Jeff’s) to see so many of you in love with God still. It is my joy to call you friends, to see your smiling faces here and watch your families grow and/or your life blossom in amazing ways.

My memories: He was/is truly a humble man, but he was also larger than life. His great smile that loomed over most of us was contagious and his genuine love for people was contagious. Laughing…all the time! I can’t even remember at what, but it was always funny. A couple in Christian Fellowship Church’s new member class remarked that we were always whispering and laughing and they could just “tell” we were still on our honeymoon! We were very much in love. While dating he once serenaded me, during a talent show, with a “Wink and a smile” by Harry Connick Jr. (and he’s not a singer)! We danced at dozens of weddings…I guess you can call it was hysterical and lively, whatever it was. I loved doing ministry with Jeff. He was a brilliant minister and gifted Bible scholar. He was so good at stretching and encouraging people and very wise in his ministry strategies. One of the most admirable and humbling qualities he possessed was being a man of daily prayer. He was intentional and diligent in prayer. Although we got married at 25 & 27, I feel like we did a lot of growing up together. He took his first job and I moved away from home with a new husband and no friends besides him. He was my best friend and stretched me in the right way and loved/accepted me like no one else could have. Many years have gone by. Many tears have been shed, but my deep love and respect for Jeff remains.

"The righteous perish,
and no one ponders it in his heart;
devout men are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil.
Those who walk uprightly
enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.
Isaiah 57:1-2

I don’t like that I was widowed at 29. I don’t like that many of us who loved Jeff will not see his smile or feel his embrace this side of heaven, but I accept this and embrace the gifts God has blessed me with in the new chapters of my life.

*I feel it is important also to also honor my current husband and partner in crime, Ryan. He has been as understanding as any man could be. He wisely refuses to compare himself to Jeff knowing that my love for each of them is unique and real. I tell those who ask that it’s like a parent’s love for their children. A parent can love two children deeply and differently. The second child does not get “leftover” love, but a continued overflow of the love a parent has for their kiddos. In a similar way, Ryan is the apple of my eye and the keeper of my heart. God knew what He was doing when he brought us together, and I love him completely and deeply. I love him especially for accepting my broken heart and giving me reasons to laugh again every day. And finally, how can I not love him uniquely after he gave me the precious gift of our daughter.

I’d love to hear from you if you want to share.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wednesday, December 10, 2008