Today I talking with a friend about her recent experience at the gym. She noted that the gym offered a free initial training session with membership...a pretty common practice, in my experience, trying to lure the new gym-goers to sign up for a personal trainer. As my friend has just given birth to her first baby, children and parenthood were a common point of discussion and during the course of their session, the trainer revealed some interesting personal information: a) he has fathered 2 children, and b) he has never been married. Interesting tidbits, but on their own, not too shocking. But combined with the following statement, made near the end of their time together...Wow.

"I'm not sure I'll ever get married, but if I do, I don't think I'll want my wife to get pregnant. She'll lose all her sexiness."

Good thing you just knock up your girlfriends so that when they "lose their sexiness" you can just trade them in for another!

Really? Did he really say that? To a woman who has just given birth?

There. Aren't. Words.


Need some help...

...from you veteran moms...I AM EXHAUSTED. And Elliot is sleeping from about 8:30/9pm until 7:30 am (I do feed him at 10:30, just before I go to bed, though). The question I have is: IS THIS NORMAL? I am getting about 7 - 8 hours of sleep per night and am still so incredibly weary. I get so tired in the early afternoon that I swear I could take a 3-hr nap. And I'm exhausted again around 5pm and can barely hold my eyes open at 9pm...and staying awake to feed Elliot at 10:30 just about kills me. Why am I so tired and is it going to end? Is taking care of a wild 2 year old and a newborn while trying to sell this house/find an apartment/move/quit my job just draining all my energy (these tasks, by the way, are much harder than any hard day at my former office job!)? Is there a vitamin or something I can take to fix this problem? I am used to having limitless energy at my disposal so needless to say, I'm feeling a bit discouraged...so I'd appreciate any input or advice, especially in regards to whether or not anyone else has experienced this!

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40: 29-31).


New Pictures

First smiles...

Stroller ride (propped up due to reflux)...

All beat up...nobody call DFCS! And this picture doesn't even show the huge green knot on the other side of his forehead or his busted lip!


As most of you are aware, this is Masters Week, a very grand occasion in the Garden City. Most, if not all, of Augusta's traditions are related in some way to The Augusta National Golf Course and Masters Golf Tournament. And the city is ALIVE this week, in a way that is unique to this city and this particular event. In spite of all the traffic and increased police presence (I swear I am a cop / radar magnet, in spite of the fact that I drive a black KIA!), it is fun to be a part of all the excitement. Join me in celebrating, if you wish, and make a Green Jacket Salad, named for a famous restaurant that used to be across from the Augusta National Golf Course - this was their house salad. It's an old Augusta favorite. Hope you enjoy making it - we had it with our Mahi Mahi and couscous for dinner last night.

Green Jacket Salad
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Lawry's seasoned salt
1 tsp. Accent (this is basically MSG, and I leave it out and just add a little more seasoning salt)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar (red wine or balsamic)
1 large, chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped, green onions
Pita chips
Parmesan cheese, grated
One head of lettuce or your favorite bagged lettuce (I use mixed greens)

- Combine first 5 ingredients. Add tomato, parsley and onions. (I usually just put the tomatoes in the lettuce instead--the other mixture seems to keep longer without the tomatoes in it.)
- Toss over one head of torn lettuce--or just toss enough of the topping with the amount of lettuce you want to use.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve with pita chips (made from baking torn pita bread in oven at 300 degrees 10 minutes or until crisp. (I use whole wheat or oat bran pita bread.)


So we're moving...in three weeks. Today I secured an apartment for us in Savannah (in Pooler to be exact). No, we haven't sold our house so do keep that on prayer list. But we have decided to go ahead and move as Ryan is doing a month-long rotation at his new office for the month of May. And after that he only has to be in Augusta for the first two weeks in June and then he's FINISHED with training (way to go, honey!). We found out late last week that our house is not going to be ready until the end of July so we decided to try to find a 3-month lease somewhere, thinking that would be easier to secure than a one month or two month lease. So I surfed the internet and recruited my fam to look up phone numbers and came up with a pretty decent option in Pooler, near both my parents and my sister and her family. And as of noon today, it's a done deal. The Preserve at Godley Station will be home for the next 3 months. I can't believe our time in Augusta is drawing to a close. We've had two kids here and have really grown so close...it will be hard to say good-bye to our first house, these close friends, our church...but IT IS TIME. We're leaving our house here furnished, thinking it will sell better with all our Walmart and Target furniture and accessories. :)

And it's also time for me to say good-bye to my career. I just can't keep doing IT ALL. And my income is not a necessity right now and so quitting my job is the best way for me to serve my family at this point. I really loved my job and found much joy and fulfillment in using my gifts and my brain, working with other people, problem-solving, etc. I liked getting dressed up in nice office clothes, taking business trips, preparing and delivering presentations, sipping lattes in board meetings and conference calling with colleagues all over the world. I liked earning a paycheck, one that has steadily grown over the years into a fairly handsome salary. But over the past few months, God has made it clear to Ryan and me that season was winding down...my kids need me, all of me, and so does Ryan. After ten years of rigorous post-college school and training, Ryan is starting his first real job and this next year will be intense, demanding and very stressful. For the sake of our marriage and the happiness and peace of our house, I need to be on my A-Game, not stressed out from juggling my job, kids, managing the house, etc. One of us can't be totally wiped from outside-the-home demands. And that person needs to be me. So it was with very mixed emotions today that I called my boss (who is a WONDERFUL man, in all respects) and told him quite bluntly, "I'm not coming back." We had a very nice chat, both expressing appreciation for each other and mutual sadness over my decision). He even validated the calling of motherhood, praising me for being willing to give up a career for my family. Quite rare these days from a respected member of Corporate America's managerial population.

That was a hard phone call to make and a hard phone call to end. Very final, making the reality that I've traded classy suits for spit-up stained t-shirts and board meetings for endless choruses of "The ABCs" and "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round." I am truly mourning the end of my time in this position and if I'm honest, I'm afraid of my new identity and the loss of "my" income. So how fitting it was that today I read a short essay by Elizabeth Elliot entitled, "On Motherhood and Profanity." You can read the entire essay here (and I highly recommend doing so!). God seemed to be speaking directly to me from the pages of this book, reminding me of his definition of success and the things that he values...

"When women--sometimes well-meaning, earnest, truth seeking ones say "Get out of the house and do something creative, find something meaningful, something with more direct access to reality," it is a dead giveaway that they have missed the deepest definition of creation, of meaning, of reality. And when you start seeing the world as opaque, that is, as an end in itself instead of as transparent, when you ignore the Other World where this one ultimately finds its meaning, of course housekeeping (and any other kind of work if you do it long enough) becomes tedious and empty.

But what have buying groceries, changing diapers and peeling vegetables got to do with creativity? Aren't those the very things that keep us from it? Isn't it that kind of drudgery that keeps us in bondage? It's insipid and confining, it's what one conspicuous feminist called "a life of idiotic ritual, full of forebodings and failure." To her I would answer ritual, yes. Idiotic, no, not to the Christian--for although we do the same things anybody else does, and we do them over and over in the same way, the ordinary transactions of everyday life are the very means of transfiguration. It is the common stuff of this world which, because of the Word's having been "made flesh," is shot through with meaning, with charity, with the glory of God."

Reading this essay ministered to my heart and to my fears and insecurities over my decision, which is not, by the way, a reflection of a deep belief that women should not work. Rather, this is a personal decision for Ryan and me, based on our family situation. And my struggle over the decision was deeply spiritual, something that God needed to work out in my heart regardless of whether I am actually employed. But I digress. :) I know that this transition is right for me and for us and I'm happy about it...and looking forward to more time on the domestic front (can't wait to sew curtains for our new house!).

So there you have it. Lots of big news from our house. Hopefully my camera will be resurrected soon so that I can share some new pictures of precious Elliot, growing cuter and bigger by the day - 8 weeks tomorrow! It looks like he is going to have his brother's huge blue eyes and he still favors me over Ryan, woohoo!. :) And Praise the Lord, he started sleeping through the night late last week! It's amazing how different I feel with 7/8 hours of uninterrupted sleep!