Archive for February, 2011

February 21, 2011

Grace Periods

If I were to choose a mothering mantra, it would be “If God puts you to it, God will get you through it.”  (A close second would be “Git ‘er done,” but that’s a post for another day. . . .)


Motherhood is the most challenging chapter of my life thus far, but if it’s taught me anything, it is that absolute trust in God is the most important element of my faith and my life as a whole.  It’s also probably the toughest thing for me to accept.  And I suspect I am not the only one in this situation—mother or not!


Although faith means believing in what is unseen, God has graciously given me plenty of reason to trust in Him over this past year.  When I was nervous about being the only pregnant person I knew in New York, He plopped us down in Brooklyn, where I have made many wonderful friends, almost all of whom either have babies or are expecting them.  When I was scared about leaving my job, He gave me opportunities to offer my skills in a freelance business from home, offering me the best of the work and stay-at-home worlds.


But it’s not only in the big things that God has made Himself known, it’s also in the littler, day-to-day bits of life that He is encouraging me to trust Him.  Reminding myself of these little moments of grace help me to forge ahead when I am doubtful and to continue to be grateful for all we have when I am discouraged.  For example . . .



The first full day after Jacob was born, he was so sleepy we couldn’t wake him up to eat.  The nurses told us not to worry; he had enough food in him left over from being in the womb, that he didn’t need to eat if he didn’t want to.  The nursing books will tell you to nurse right away or else your baby may not want to, and then he won’t get the best milk, and then he won’t be as healthy as he could be, and all will be lost, and monkeys will take over the planet.  Okay, I exaggerate a little.  But seriously, we learned that there was this kind of grace period built into our little guy, so that he already had what he needed that first day.  Pretty cool.



More recently, John and I have started to ask our friends to watch their language around Jacob.  He can’t speak yet (unless you count “gaaaaaah” and “eeeeeeeet” as talking), but he’s already taking things in, I’m sure.  Our friends have been excellent about this, but even when they slip up, it’s not that big a deal.  Even though he’s right next to us all the time, we have some time to adjust to this little boy’s presence. And I think that transitioning is a special kind of grace, too.


I don’t know how I would do this motherhood thing if I didn’t have my faith (I don’t know how I’d do a lot of things if I didn’t have faith!)  Thank God for the incredibly blessed year we’ve just had.  And I pray that immense gratitude continues to accompany the trust I am learning to sustain in the Lord.


February 18, 2011

Giant. Massive. Huge.

These are words that have been used, of late, to describe our bouncing baby boy.  Anyone who comments on his size, nay girth, be it pediatrician, friend, or random man on a street corner is amazed that our little guy is just shy of five months old.  Often, so are we!

Case in point:  Yesterday I dressed him in a onesie that Carter’s suggests would be worn by a twelve-month-old.  Ha!  We’re closer to twelve weeks than twelve months, at this point.

Anyway, because it’s Friday, and because I’m working on keeping the photos flowing out to you fine folks, here are some recent photos of our ginormous (but increasingly snuggly and oh-so-giggly) boy.

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Mmmm . . . just makes you want to chew on a giant letter “b” and take a nap, right?

Happy Friday!

February 16, 2011

The Julia Child Primer on a Life Well Lived

Sometimes something about the title of a book or a short description I hear about it tells me that I just need to read that book. Like there is something in there that I need to hear, some way something is expressed that is going to mean something important for me.


This sort of intuition led me to read The Seven Storey Mountain, one of the most influential books I’ve ever read, and now it’s led me to My Life in France by Julia Child, which has had a similar effect.  I already have two friends in line to read it, and I want to give a copy to just about everyone I know.  It’s that good.


Like a lot of folks I’ve spoken with, I became interested in Julia Child’s life after seeing the movie Julie & Julia.  In the film, Child seemed so buoyant, joyful, and determined, and like the kind of person you just want to be around.  Reading her book has only made me more certain that I would have loved to have known this singular lady.  Because that’s not possible, I am grateful to have this insight into her experiences as a woman, a wife, a cook, and an author.


My Life in France is more than a memoir of time lived in a foreign country—it is a unique and liberating coming-of-age story (the book starts when Child is thirty-seven years old), a real and honest love story, and the chronicle of one of the most significant publications of the twentieth century.  It’s also filled with gorgeous food and stunning scenes of France and other countries. This book is everything I want in a good read, most everything important to a life well lived.  And, as you might expect, there are a number of simple lessons about life that flow organically from Child’s memoir.


I’m sure I can’t express these nuggets of wisdom as eloquently as Child and her co-author (her nephew, Alex Prud’homme).  But as much for my sake to keep these things in mind as for my desire to share them with you, here’s a primer on what I’ve learned from Julia Child:


–       Work diligently to do things the right way.  The rewards of honestly and fully putting your mind to something are unparalleled.

–       Having a partner that encourages you—and that you encourage—is one of life’s greatest blessings.  Appreciate it fully, and always put that relationship first (my parents taught me this, too).

–       Don’t make excuses (I really don’t mean to quote Wedding Crashers here, but I think I just did!).  Do things to your best ability, and when something doesn’t turn out as planned, make the best of it, keep on moving forward, and most of all, learn from it.

–       Good food and good friends are two of the greatest joys in life—enjoy them!


And if I may offer a final piece of advice of my own: read this book!  Then call me afterward, and let’s giddily discuss our newfound inspiration and lease on life!

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