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Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Love Than I Ever Knew

Let me tell you about (my) life as a new mom.
Its full of oxymorons.

Its peeling myself from the comfort of blankets and pillows to spend mid-night moments listening to nothing but peaceful swallows.
Its giving up half our income to gain the best job ever.
Its being proud of poop.
Its an odd loneliness with a constant companion.
Its a contest between fear and hope about a little boy's future.
Its a whole new arena of little questions and an answer to some of life's biggest.
Its trying my hardest for someone that won't remember.
It makes me feel old and it makes me feel so young.

Its a world of sacrifices that I wouldn't give up for, well, the world.


Its weird to make new friends again.

The Circumcision Decision

DAH DAH DAH (Sound effects to go with my serious-sounding title)

I wasn't going to blog about this, because it is such a hot topic, but a very loyal reader brought it up at lunch the other day (it was great to see you, Ms. P!) and got me thinking about it again. Also, if Carver ever reads my blog when he grows up, he might get embarrassed, but what are moms for?

Ethan and I were on the fence about this issue before we even knew if Fetus Stonerook was going to have foreskin or not. I told Ethan the decision was his to make, as I have no experience with having a penis. He wasn't sure what he thought. We polled family for their personal opinions and friends in the medical field for their professional opinions.

We got advice from both sides of the fence. Basically, every argument we heard balanced out an argument from the other side.

The best word I got was from my friend, Aly, who said, "Go with your gut."
My gut said, "If it aint broke, don't fix it."

Thursday, March 19, 2009


If I had an assistant, I would pay him/her to post pictures for me on my blog. The thing is, I really want to show you new pictures of our made-over living room, but unless I want to stress myself out, I usually avoid posting pictures right before bed time.

Sometimes Ethan and I pretend that Geoffrey, the butler from Fresh Prince works for us, but is always slacking off. We'll make dinner, leave to get ice cream and come home only to find that he hasn't even touched the teetering stack of dishes in the sink! Jeez, what are we not paying that lazy guy for, anyway?

I guess you'll just have to take my word for it that the living room now looks very colorful and fresh. Or you can come visit and decide for yourself. The only last touch that remains to be touched is my dream of a family picture wall. I imagine our new picture shelf adorned with black & white candid shots of the fam.

Speaking of shots of the fam, Carver is now a model. Ok, not really, but we took him to Picture People at the mall and they had us sign a waiver releasing his pictures for display in the studio. I asked the lady if they just did that to flatter all parents that seemed obsessed with their babies. She said no. What a star!

Glad to talk to you again! Night night.

PS-Is anyone else nervous about Jon & Kate Plus 8??? The commercials are making it look like there's big troubs in the marriage. Hopefully its just the editors blowing things out of proportion. I'm reading Kate's book right now (thanks for letting me borrow it, Linz!). Its pretty interesting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2 Notes on Commercialism

1. Disney Eggs??? Has anyone else seen this? Disney has marketed and produced their own brand of eggs. There are little pictures of the characters on each egg. What's next? Hannah Montana milk?

2. I kind of have a crush on the Geico money stack. I know that is so weird, and most people probably think the new ads are annoying (I didn't really care for the gecko), but what can I say? I don't bring these things upon myself.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Plain Yogurt Is Where Its At (and a couple other life lessons)

1. Seriously...plain yogurt. I like it with strawberries, blueberries and granola. Ethan likes it with peanut butter, honey and granola.

2. If you ever find yourself asking, "should I put on more deodorant?" the answer is yes. This has always been a personal philosophy.

3. When breast-feeding, top him off. Carver (who weighs 13 pounds, btw) likes to fall asleep when nursing. It usually takes Malcolm's amount of energy to wake him up enough to eat from the other side. Sometimes I'm tempted to let him sleep, but that usually results in a hungry cry 1 hour later.

This is a week of preparation, I guess. I'm preparing our garden for a spring makeover, our living room for a furniture makeover and to top it all off, its Lent, the season of preparation. Now lets just see if I'm prepared to give Carver over to his first babysitter, come Friday.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Old Navy Coupon has "secret" coupons hidden in it. I think the only ones left are 5, 10 and 15 percent off your total purchase. They renew the site once a week with coupons up to $75 off. I found one for 15% off. Good luck!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

True Christian Life

Stick with me here... this might be a long one, but its worth it. I hope.

Sometimes I get so mad thinking about what "Christian Life" looks like in America. What does it mean to be a Christian? To vote republican? To dress up on Sundays? To judge people who don't follow the rules?
My heart breaks for the wrong impression we give. The people who Jesus spent time with, the sick, the emotionally hurting, the outcasts and the sinners are the very people who feel most rejected by today's Christians.
Is life as a Christian all lollipops and rainbows? Is it just about staying sober and abstinent? You better not curse, either, because then you're probably not a Christian.
Well, shit, that doesn't sound all that great.

To me, Christian Life is my relationship with God. Not my relationship with going to church on Sunday, but a real relationship with Him. I doubt Him, I get mad at Him, I get scared and lazy. He reassures me, forgives me, comforts me and encourages me. Sometimes our relationship seems as big and hard to grasp as my view from the top of a mountain on the Appalachian Trail. Sometimes it is as real as a hearing Him say "Valerie, you know how much you love your child? I love you even more."

Andrew Murray describes intimacy with God much more eloquently than I:

"The precious blood of Christ has opened the way for the believer into God's presence, and intimacy with Him is a deep, spiritual reality. He who knows the full power of the blood is brought so near that he can always live in the immediate presence of God and in the enjoyment of the unspeakable blessings attached to it. There, the child of God has the assurance of God's love; he experiences and enjoys it. God Himself imparts it. He lives daily in the friendship and fellowship of God. As God's child he makes known to the Father, with perfect freedom, his thoughts and wishes. In this intimacy with God, he possesses all that he needs; he lacks no "good thing" (Psalm 84:11). His soul is kept in perfect rest and peace, because God is with him (Isaiah 26:3). He receives all necessary direction and teaching. God's eye is ever upon him, guiding him. In intimacy with God, he is able to hear the softest whispers of the Holy Spirit. He learns to understand the slightest sign of his Father's will and to follow it. His strength continually increases, for God is his strength, and God is ever with him.

Fellowship with God has a wonderful influence on his life and character. The presence of God fills him with humility, fear and a holy circumspection. He lives as in the presence of a king. Fellowship with God produces God-like inclinations in him. Beholding the image of God, he is changed into the same image (2 Corinthians 3:18). Dwelling with the Holy One makes him holy. He can say, "It is good for me to draw near to God" (Psalm 73:28).

Oh, you who are the children of the new covenant, do you not have a thousand times more reasons to speak in the same way, now that the veil has been torn asunder and the way opened for living always in God's holy presence? May this high privilege awaken our desires. Intimacy with God, fellowship with God, dwelling with God and He with us-may it become impossible for us to be satisfied with anything less. This is the true Christian Life."