Sunday, August 30, 2009

Drumroll, Please

Are you ready? Here it is: the moment you've all been waiting for. Or maybe not. But if you've been dying to know what our big news is, I'll let you off the crazy train and tell you.

Right now.

No, seriously, I will.

Ok, here goes:

This morning, at a congregational meeting at a certain church in a certain area of Virginia, that congregation approved the call of Hubba Hubba as their new pastor!!!!

Obviously, we're super excited. This is something we've been working and praying and thinking and hoping towards for, well, almost the entire time Hubba Hubba and I have known each other.

You see, one fall night, Handsome Boyfriend (this was before he became Hubba Hubba) told me that he felt called to ministry. While his telling me this was a big step for our relationship, to be honest, I wasn't surprised. Not only did I know Handsome Boyfriend would make a great pastor, but I always felt that I'd end up as a pastor's wife. (And Handsome Boyfriend and I both knew at that point that we were meant to be married.)

As you might imagine, it's been a long road since that night. There was marriage. There were denominational requirements. And there was seminary life. And denominational requirements. And Wiggle Man arrived. And then were were more denominational requirements. And then there were times we weren't sure exactly what God was doing.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile now, you know that at one point we were considering whether God was actually calling us to serve Him in Kenya. Obviously, He wasn't. I don't always understand the roads God takes us down to show us His plan. But I do know that if we're patient, and quiet enough to actually listen, He will show us His will, one way or another.

Back in June, we traveled down to Virginia to interview with a representative committee from what is now our new church family. I think everyone involved had a sense right away that God's hand was in this.

If you're a part of our new church and you're reading this, I hope you know how very excited we are to meet you and share this life God has called us to lead together. (Oh, and my apologies that you get to hear your new pastor referred to as Hubba Hubba.) I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our lives, and I look forward to getting to know you and your families.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Soon and Very Soon....

I'll be able to let you all off the crazy train, and tell you what big changes await our family. And this time, when I say "soon" I mean, soon. Like, hopefully, sometime tomorrow.

Because of what I hope and pray to be able to tell you tomorrow, my week has been, well, full. Soon, hopefully, I'll be back to posting regularly about my adventures--being a stranger in a strange land, wife to a foreigner (ok, I guess I'm the foreigner here) and mother to a slightly odd, but totally wonderful Wiggle Man.

For instance, this week you missed out on hearing about Hubba Hubba's birthday cake. (Which tasted amazing, and looked like Wiggle Man might have decorated it. Except I did.)

You missed on out what Hubba Hubba requested especially for his birthday cook-out, and my thoughts on the leftovers, which are fragrancing the refrigerator. (Spell check seems to think that fragrancing isn't really a word. Bizarre.)

I'm not even going to rant about those ads on websites that are driving me crrrrazy--you know, the ones that expand to cover half the web page if your mouse even glances in the general direction of the ad? (Note to advertisers: this does not make me want to buy your product. It has rather the opposite effect.)

Instead, I'm going to finish my iced tea, (the fake kind--I only like the real kind when it's done the proper, Southern way, super sweet and ice cold) and go back to doing what I've been doing all day to get ready for next week.

You know, when the crazy train makes a stop somewhere.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Edit

I've been playing with some photo editing, so I thought I'd share.



Since, you know, I'm holding out on you about, ahem, other things.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hoo-Hoooooooo

You may think that a certain place with a certain famous mouse is "the happiest place on earth." For many people, I'm pretty sure it is. I've been known to enjoy a happy day or two there, myself.

But if you are not quite two years old, and you happen to be my son, then "the happiest place on earth" has got nuthin' on this place:



We spent yesterday at a local railroad museum, and even got to take a ride on a working steam engine. We also got to spend the day with Grandma and Papa (my parents), so Wiggle Man got thoroughly spoiled. (As is proper, for a day out with Grandparents.)








Of course, Thomas The Tank Engine has a lot to do with Wiggle Man's love of trains.





All day long we got to hear Wiggle Man point out the trains to us: "Hoo-hooooo! Hoo-hooooooo! Hoooooooooo-hooooooooooooooooooooooo!"
We got some interesting looks in the museum, that's for sure. And, when he wasn't "hoo-hoo-ing", Wiggle Man was screaming. (Also bringing us interesting looks, stares, and--from the parents of other Thomas-loving toddlers--knowing glances.) Yes, screaming. Big, giant tears of agony every time we left one attraction to go to another.
It didn't matter that we were leaving the steam engine ride to go to a entire museum filled with trains. Or that we were leaving the museum to go to a petting zoo. Wiggle Man doesn't exactly have the concept of anticipation down yet.
All he knew was that we were dragging him away from something fun. It didn't matter how much more fun he was going to have where we were going next--he was willing to miss out on that to stay where he was. A bird in the hand, and all that.
There's a lesson in that, I'm thinking.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

WiggleSpeak

Finally, (or so it seems to my anxious Mommy heart) our Wiggle Man is learning to say more than animal sounds. So I thought I'd take this opportunity to give you a dictionary of WiggleSpeak, for those who may not be fluent.



Dada: 1. Daddy, of course. That's an easy one.


Pop: 1. Pop-Pop (Hubba Hubba's dad. My dad is "Grandpa", and Wiggles is still working on that one.) 2. Popsicle (specifically, Mommy's special blueberry-banana-yogurt pops--the only kind he knows.) 3. The machine at the farmer's market that makes multi-grain cakes (like rice cakes, sort of) and which makes a big popping sounds. 4. Pretzel dogs, from the same farmer's market. This gets confusing, as you might imagine.

Car: 1. Car, simply enough. 2. Uncle Carl, our neighbour and good friend.

Book: 1. Book. 2. Milk. (I have no idea.)

Bee: 1. Plane. 2. Blankie.

Gas: 1. Gas. Heaven forbid Mommy not get gas after a trip to Walmart--he doesn't understand we don't need to get it every time we're out.

Chhsss: 1. Cheerios. 2. Cheese. 3. Shoes. (Sometimes, you just gotta take it in context, and figure it out from there.)

Chuch: 1. Church. Wiggle Man does not like passing by the church and not stopping. This has less to do with his early spiritual leanings (although we do have an ultrasound picture where his little hands appear to be clasped in prayer) and more to do with the toys in the nursery.

Bech: 1. Beach. However, since he likes to say this randomly (when no beach or sand is present) this one took us a while to figure out.

Brrrr (or, beurre): Regular readers already know this one--my bilingual child is merely asking for peanut butter.

Trash: 1. Trash, garbage.

Pee: 1. Just what you're thinking, only more inclusive. Wiggle Man refers to, ahem, numbers one and two as "pee." You just have too look at where he's pointing to know which, um, number he means.

Stinky: 1. Yup, stinky. He especially enjoys telling us his feet are stinky. Sometimes he'll even demonstrate for us just how stinky they are by sniffing them, declaring them "stinky", and laughing hysterically.

He has a few more words, but I think I'll save them for another day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blindsided

Just when you think you have them all figured out: they become toddlers.

All afternoon, I was in Supermom Mode. I was sooooo proud of myself: I had a plan. A plan to get Wiggle Man to eat something other than beurre. Or animal crackers. I was going to get him to eat vegetables and fruit. In a single sitting. And he was going to enjoy it so much, he wouldn't even realise it was good for him.

This plan might have worked, had it not been for the terrible unpredictability of the two year-old (or almost two year-old) set.

I made mini pizzas on whole wheat crusts, cut up the veggies very, very small and covered them with cheese. Then I made us fruit smoothies. Brilliant, yes?

No.

Wiggle Man sat in his high chair for...I lost track of time, but for a ridiculous amount of time, refusing to eat. Smoothies and pizza. I would have killed for smoothies and pizza as a kid. I certainly would not have sat stubbornly at the table, refusing smoothies and pizza. Now did I refuse potatoes? Yes. Pork chops? Yes. Meatloaf? Heck yes. But pizza? Are you kidding me?

To top it off, while typing this I had to tell Wiggle Man not to eat the goldfish crackers. Out of the trash. They were soggy from sitting in the rain for two days. Apparently garbage is preferable to mini pizzas and smoothies.

I have a feeling two is going to be a fuuuunnnnnn age.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Taste of Summer

Dessert tonight took me back. A thousand memories of summers past came flooding in. Memories of dinner at Grandma's, dinner with friends in my college apartment over the summers, and the nights I wasn't sure if I wanted to cook, and just took a spoon to half a melon.


Yes, a melon.

Cantaloupe, specifically.

Nothing says summer to me like a good, fresh, cantaloupe.

I treated myself to a ginormous fruit cup from the local farmer's market. By the time I thought to take the picture, I'd already eaten the strawberries off the top.

As much as this absolutely made my dinner, Hubba Hubba is not a fan of the cantaloupe. This:


totally grosses him out. He thinks it tastes rotten. Literally, rotten. Can you imagine?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

RFP Strikes Again

RFP.

Random Foot Pain.

It's probably not so random. If I'd just get over myself and go to either a) a doctor, or b) a decent shoe store, I'm sure someone could tell me what's bothering my feet. My guess is it has something to do with my high arches, and unwillingness to spend more than $40 on shoes. But, if it comes down to a choice between never running again, or shilling out the cash for decent shoes, I may have to swallow my pride and go to a decent shoe store.

Hubba Hubba thinks I need to go to a podiatrist, and get "special shoes."

Just calling them "special shoes" is enough to keep me from thinking that's a good idea.

I'm pretty bummed about this, since this RFP, whatever it is, once kept me from running for about a year and a half. It wasn't until a month and a half ago that I found I could actually run again. (And please, check out the link to learn what I mean when I say "run." It's probably not as cool as you think.)




Dutifully I got up at 6 am to go for my run. As soon as I started down the stairs, I knew RFP had struck again. The old familiar ache was there with every step down I took. It's nowhere near as bad as it was before I gave up running last time, but it was enough to make me decide to give these a break for the rest of the week:

Instead, I'll do some strength training, and see how my tender tootsies feel after a bit of a break. If any of you are avid runners out there, like Sara, feel free to chime in with any thoughts you have. My RFP and I would appreciate the free advice.

Oh, and one more thing:

Sorry to keep you all in suspense. I promise I'm not trying to drive you crazy. I just figured it would be nice to have some company on the crazy train.

I'll share all the top secret details as soon as they're declassified. Til then, enjoy the ride, and please keep your hands and arms inside the crazy train at all times.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Oh, The Times...

They are a-changin'.

I can't go into many details right now, but our little family is about to have some big changes. Big changes that don't (I repeat don't) involve the pitter patter of little feet, or anything like that.

I'm writing this in the midst of a crazy storm, with some pretty impressive lightning. It's a reminder, for me, that, as Rich Mullins so aptly put it, we are not as strong as we think we are. In the times that I long to be in control, I have to remember Who is in control.

In Job 38:24 God asks Job if Job knows the way to the place lightning comes from. We may have a better understanding in our day and age of how lightning actually works, but we certainly don't control it.

In the times I feel so insanely blessed it leaves me without words, I have to remember Who each of these blessings is from.

Times change. What seemed out of control several months ago can be life's biggest blessing. Sometimes when the storm passes, it leaves something beautiful.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

The CCT

I have a theory about cars.

I've noticed this over the weeks as I've been jogging in the mornings. You see, the roads near our house are windy, with little to no shoulder. At 6 am (I know, I know) it's less of a big deal than, say, at 5 pm.

My theory? The Car Clump Theory, or CCT. The basic principle behind CCT is that where no shoulder or sidewalk is present and a pedestrian is sharing the road, all cars will travel in clumps of two, three, four or more cars. The pedestrian hears the cars coming up behind her, moves on to the uneven, often soggy grass. Thinking the car has passed, the pedestrian moves back onto what little shoulder is available, only to find herself in the midst of a car clump.

By the way, the inverse of CCT is true when you are the driver of a car waiting to make a left hand turn. Instead of traveling in clumps and thereby making it possible for you, the waiting driver to make your turn, the others cars will space themselves so perfectly that turning is impossible.

I believe CCT and its inverse should be submitted to the most reputable scientific journal available, don't you?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rainy Day Editing

It's a rainy, grey day, and I'm curled up in a chair doing some photo editing while the two men in my life sleep the afternoon away.




Here's the same photo, as a fractal. Or something.




Saturday, August 1, 2009

Today's Special

My giftings do not include car maintenance.

Once upon a time, I was making the long drive from the True North Strong and Free back to New Jersey. By myself. I was feeling pretty proud of myself, actually, for having attempted the(thus far successful) trip. When I was about 30 minutes from the U.S. border, still on the good ol' QEW, my car decided that steering was no longer in its job description. As was the whole "forward motion" thing.

Amazingly enough, I was near an exit, and I managed to get the car off the exit ramp, and on the side of the road. At dusk. Across from nothing but a rather seedy looking "motel."

Really.

I don't remember if I just didn't have my cell, or if it wouldn't roam in Canada, or what. For whatever reason, I had to trudge my way across the road to the motel, and use the payphone to call AAA. Except I was still in the TNSAF, so it was CAA I called. The very kind lady got help sent to me, and very strongly urged me to not wait in the motel bar.

I didn't.

A very nice tow truck driver came to rescue us, I got to spend the night in a hotel by myself, and CAA fixed the serpentine belt on my car.

Fast forward to yesterday. I was on my way to my monthly indulgence--a massage. I didn't used to be one of those people that got a regular massage. (I secretly always wanted to be one, though.) However, I found a great, reasonably priced massage therapist, and I find it really does help.

But I digress.

So there I was, driving happily along, blissfully unaware that disaster was about to strike. As I turned onto the street my masseuse was located on, my car decided to reminisce about that time we were driving home from the TNSAF. Once again, steering went out the window. Once again, my car crawled to a stop. Just like before. I thought to myself, "Well, there goes the serpentine belt."

I was totally proud of myself for remembering what the thing was called.

I phoned Hubba Hubba, who said he would come "take care of it", and I walked the remaining block and a half to my appointment. But not before I followed Hubba Hubba's advice to put a rag, or something, in the window. I assured him I'd find something, but all I could find was an dried out diaper wipe.

It worked, I guess.

After my appointment, I ventured out in the rain, expecting to see HH and a tow truck. Instead, there was my car, parked neatly in the parking lot of the masseuse. A block and a half away from where it died.

What?

I called Hubba Hubba. I heard a hint of amusement in his voice as he explained that my car had not, in fact died. The serpentine belt was just fine. The car had merely stalled.

Yeah. I never bothered to try and start the car--I assumed it was the serpentine belt, like before, and went from there.

Cars: not my specialty.