I’m interested in making healthier choices for our family and being wise stewards of God’s creation, so gradually I’ve been researching more about traditional, whole foods and sustainable living. I’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg, and have tons more to learn! It has been fascinating to me though.
This topic can be overwhelming/discouraging when you learn how far we’ve come from the traditional normalcy of a natural lifestyle. However, I still think it’s important to be well informed!
Sometimes we have meager means, and are unable to do as much as we would like to. That’s okay. There is lots of grace on the subject. We shouldn’t make it a into an idol, but it is a good thing to desire responsible stewardship of creation and our bodies. Every little baby step counts, and being aware of the situation is a great way to begin!
This morning we watched a documentary called American Meat, which I thought was really well done. I appreciated the film’s presentation of the facts without over-sensationalizing the information. If you’re interested in watching something on this gloomy day, curl up with a hot drink and check out this link.
Edited: Ahh! Unfortunately you can’t view the film for free anymore. I didn’t realize it was for limited time only. Oh well…if you ever get a chance to watch it, I definitely recommend it! Joel Salatin is strongly featured in American Meat and I’ve recently read part of his book Folks, This Ain’t Normal. Listen to him explain his ideas here or here. I’ve enjoyed his fresh perspective and how he combines tradition (what’s “normal”) with creativity and innovation.
In fact, it was quite a doozy for us. Derek went in to work third shift on Wednesday night, just as Jude threw up and we realized he was running a temperature. I still had two pies and a triple batch of stuffing to make, and the house was a disaster. Honestly, I don’t know how it all got done. But at 4am, everything was baked and the house (which was more trashed than it has been in a long, long time) was picked up. We got a restless few hours of sleep and then got up to do puked on laundry and showers for all of us, running out the door an hour later than anticipated.
I honestly wasn’t sure whether we would get to enjoy any holiday festivities, but Jude perked up enough that we drove to my parents as planned and had a delicious meal with the Kelly side of the family. The menu was turkey, lots and lots of gravy, buttered mashed potatoes, classic green bean casserole with french fried onions, stuffing with sausage, walnuts and raisins, sweet potato casserole loaded with coconut, brown sugar and pecans, corn, soft with rolls with lots of butter, and homemade cranberry relish. Jude was pretty clingy so I only got to eat one plate–which was probably best for my waistline anyways!
Jude looked pretty dapper despite not feeling well. He sported a new bowtie and english cap, which was adorable, although I don’t have a good picture of his outfit.
My cousin plays the violin beautifully, and he treated us to a few pieces after the meal. Jude was fascinated as he played the violin, and wanted to join in with some vocal accompaniment.
We packed up and headed over to Derek’s grandparents to share dessert with the Ervins (and who are we kidding–some leftover spinach dip, Aunt Brenda’s famous candied sweet potatoes, cold ham, and pretzel jello salad too). Our visit was short since Jude wasn’t feeling well again, and Derek wanted to take a nap before heading into work another night shift. Last night was rough, with little sleep for poor Jude. Derek got back from work at 7am and has been trying to sleep. Jude and I have been cuddling and playing in the living room, and he seems to be doing a lot better, but we’re definitely going to take it easy today and just recuperate. And break out the package of leftovers my mom sent home with us!
This definitely wasn’t the relaxing and leisurely holiday I had anticipated, but it was still good and we have lots to be thankful for. I am especially thankful to be able to spend another holiday with our grandparents. I think of Derek’s grandpa who was hospitalized for months earlier this year, and how grateful and blessed we were to have him with us yesterday and seeing him rock and sing so sweetly to Jude. Also, my grandpa, whose health is failing very fast. Every time I see him, he is more and more frail, and I appreciate these times knowing that there is no guarantee of tomorrow.
The same is true for all of us, even in the prime of life. Every breath is a gift from the Giver of Life, and He has numbered all of our days. I am so grateful that He also gives us eternal life, and a hope ever lasting through Christ. We don’t have to fear the future or long for our fleeting past, but we can look forward with courage and peace to the days ahead, knowing that His people can rest and trust in His care as we journey to Heaven. And someday, we’ll rejoice around a table, feasting with our spiritual family and thanking our Heavenly Father, not just on Thanksgiving, but for eternity!
We’ve been so blessed lately. We’re settled into our new apartment, Jude is healthy and growing like a weed, Derek is doing well at his new job, and for the first time since we’ve been married we aren’t looking ahead to a seasonal lay-off. Last week, God provided us a new vehicle that fits our needs much better. Yes, I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.
However, this time of year a flurry of ads pile up in our mailbox, advertising the latest shopping deals. I admit that lately I’ve been bitten by the bug of discontent. It’s a constant struggle to focus on what I DO have instead of what I don’t.
For the past week or two Derek has been eyeing a flat screen TV. He had tucked away enough money a little bit at a time for the past few months, so we had the cash. Growing up with limited screen time and hand-me down televisions, to me, it seemed like a silly luxury we don’t need. So I had a bad attitude about him considering this TV. When he would look at online reviews, I would grumble and list all of the things that were more important to me (a better sofa, painting the living room walls, etc.) and what I would rather spend the money on. This went on for several days. He didn’t say anything–I knew he wanted it badly but respected my feelings and wouldn’t get it if I didn’t want him to.
We went out the other night, just to walk around and window shop. I brought up the TV again, hammering another nail in the coffin. “We don’t even have a camera. Why would we need a better TV when we can’t even take decent pictures of Jude growing up? Wouldn’t that be more important?” I have always wanted a good camera, ever since we’ve first been married, and we had talked about it before. I wasn’t asking for one, just trying to convince him that a TV should be low on our priority list. I was focused on myself, forgetting that this kind of thing was just as important to him as the things I wanted were to me.
He wanted to go to Best Buy, and I just knew it was to look at the TV. We walked around and looked at everything, and then Derek told me he had to go to the bathroom. He took a long time (those of you who know him well know that this isn’t unusual!), and I just walked around with Jude. When he got back, we left the store and grabbed a bite to eat in the car. He pulled out a box…and it was a camera we had looked at in the store that cost what he wanted to spend on the TV. “Merry Christmas,” he said. “I didn’t really have to go to the bathroom…I bought you this and I want to give it to you early so you can use it for the holidays.”
Friends, I felt so bad for my attitude. I was overwhelmed at such a big gift, his generosity, and that he spent all that money on me when I had so discouraged him from getting what he wanted. I didn’t know what to say. “Are you sure?”
He was just matter of fact. “Yes. This is what I want to spend the money on. I decided before we left the house that I was going to get it for you. It’s good for me to let go of having that TV. I didn’t get it because I felt like I had to. I just thought about it, and I really want to do something that will bring you joy, because I love you.”
So I’m learning to use this new camera, and so excited to be able to realize a dream that I’ve had for years.
I’ve learned something bigger though, from the example Derek set for me. I knew it before, but God saw fit to remind me again. It’s not a bad thing to have a different opinion or to want something different than your spouse. But things go too far if you lose perspective and can’t let it go. Doing things with love is more profitable than proving your point. Showing grace to each other is most important, and our actions and attitudes speak volumes about who we are putting first–each other or ourselves. Sometimes you need to do things that wouldn’t be your first choice, just to bring another person joy and let them know we love them more than getting our way or what we want.
Yes, I’m blessed. Today, I’m humbled and so thankful for a husband who models Christ’s love to me on a daily basis, in big and little ways.
This past weekend my family took a trip up to a friend’s cabin. It was a much needed break and great to get away for a couple days. Here’s a video of our time together.
Two weeks ago we found and signed on an apartment, started packing and moved (all within 5 days). Yes, it was crazy. We were really happy in Metamora, but for various reasons felt it was time to move on. Now we live 20 minutes from Derek’s new job as a hospital phone tech, and still attend at Pilgrim, which is about 25 minutes away.
So, lots has been happening! It can be kind of time consuming to take pictures, edit them, post them, and write a blog post. So this morning I thought I would pull out the video camera and give you an update. It’s easier that way, and plus you have to see Jude in action learning to crawl! He is growing and learning SO fast.
Welcome to our new home and please excuse the mess We’re working on settling in and making it home but I have to remind myself that it’s ok if that doesn’t happen overnight.
BTW, today is Derek’s 21st birthday, and a week from today we will have been married for 3 years! Craziness, I know!
So, originally I intended to write an update about Jude every month he was born. Complete with a cute photo that says how old he is, you know? So that someday he could look back on the progression of pictures and I could put all the updates in his baby book.
But Month One rolled around and I was sick in bed with a fever with a sick husband and a very needy baby. So yeah, no picture, which led to no post, and it all went downhill from there. Since I hadn’t started right, I got tempted to just give up altogether, even though I would be sad to not have it all recorded.
But then I remembered, something is better than nothing, right!? So here we go. A 5 month update (two weeks late) and no fancy pictures, just what’s been on my iphone lately. Maybe at 6 months I’ll get my act together…
Jude turned 5 months on Sunday, July 21st.
So what’s life with Jude look like these days?
- He’s sleeping through the night but not so great about taking naps. They only last for about 20 minutes, which isn’t the greatest for mommy getting stuff done. On the flip side, when he does sleep longer, it is a much appreciate and pleasant surprise.
- We’ve discovered that he seems to really enjoy water. He’s been swimming twice, and each time he was totally content to just relax and kick his legs around. I’ve also taken him in the shower with me and he likes that too, even when he gets a little water on the face, it doesn’t phase him!
- He’s been chewing on everything and drooling a lot. Some days have been pretty fussy but so far teething hasn’t been terrible. I think I can start to feel where a tooth might be coming in but it’s not there yet. He finally found his thumb, but instead of sucking on it, he chews on it.
- He’s becoming more and more vocal every day. He can say the sounds “ma” and “buh” and in general just makes a lot of noise. His new favorite thing is a motor boat noise. He kept cracking me up yesterday because he made that noise all.day.long. He also “sings himself to sleep.” When he gets tired he kind of talks really loudly until he drifts off.
- He’s started to really use his arms and has been doing a lot of pushups lately. I’ve even seen him get up on his knees for a split second once or twice.
- He does not stay in the same place at all! He’s been able to roll over for quite awhile now, but lately he’s been actually figuring out that he can roll across the room to get something. That combined with a backward scoot means I have to keep an eye on him a lot more. He likes to scoot across the room to the TV and grab one of the cords. Baby-proofing, here we come. I can see him eyeing my laptop cord as I write.
- One of his quirks lately is that he sucks in his bottom lip all the time. It makes me laugh.
- I’m not exactly sure how much he weighs, but we went for a 4 month checkup and he was 18.5 lbs so by now I’m guessing he’s at least 20.
- He’s wearing 6-9 month clothing and I just put him in a size 4 diaper. It’s on the big side but when you buy a big pack you don’t want half of them not to fit before you’ve used them all. Yep, I’ve made that mistake before.
- We’re settling into a really loose routine. Up around 8 and he plays while I eat breakfast and get ready. After an hour or so, he’s ready to eat and take a nap. He usually takes an afternoon and an evening nap, too. They just don’t last very long…although yesterday he did pretty well. Around 4:30, Derek gets home and Jude is always happy to sit with Daddy while I make dinner.
- This past weekend he finally got to meet my Pake and Beppe (grandparents) who live in Tennessee. He warmed right up to them…and fell asleep holding Pake’s hand in the car. It was really cute. I only wish I had remembered to take a picture of him with them!
- He also hung out with my friend Noell’s little boy Konner while we had some girl time. At first he wasn’t too sure about another little person his size (he burst into tears) but pretty soon they were laughing and playing with each other.
- His laugh is the best. It’s kind of like a cackle and it’s infectious!
- If you hold his hand he can pull himself up to sit and then stand. He’s working on his balance. He can sit up for a second or two on his own but then he usually starts to tip over.
It’s crazy to think about, but this past Saturday is when I found out that I was pregnant. I told Derek the next day, and we surprised our parents with the news that week. A year already! Time flies, so I’m enjoying these precious days just the three of us, soaking up all the baby-ness Jude has and yet loving watching him grow each day.