Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!!! :)

Merry Christmas, friends! It's been a very fruitful Advent for me away from both blogs and FB. You were in my prayers daily, and I missed you all! I'm looking forward to catching up as soon as visits with family are over. :) In the meantime, I hope you are all having a blessed Christmas!!

I'll leave you with the lyrics to another favorite Christmas song:


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Day 30: A great week with family

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We just returned from a great week with family. It was lots of fun watching C play with his cousin X!

While I was pretty bad about keeping up with posting every day this month, I still found so many things to be grateful for each day. I also found a few areas I need to work on - temperance being one of them! :)

With that in mind, I'm going to take a little blogging break for Advent. I know some of you have done it for Lent (I did FB last year, but not the blogs). I've decided in order to really focus on preparing for Christmas that I need a break from both. (Please pray for me - it's going to be tough. :)) I will still have comments sent to my email - so if you need to get in touch, go ahead and contact me that way! 

I will be praying especially for those of you still longing for a child. I remember so well how tough the holidays can be when you are waiting. You are always close to my heart. May God give you His peace this Advent.

Long lay the world,
in sin and error pining
'til He appeared,
and the soul felt its worth.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Days 6, 7 & 8: Blessed

How is it Friday already? Oh yes, that's life with a toddler. :)

To catch up…

Day 6 - So thankful for a kitchen sink where water flows freely!!! I was finally able to run the full dishwasher, and the same night ran round 2 - that's how many dishes were sitting around ready to be washed. I tried to keep up, but as soon as it started to pile up… well, you know. :-/ I love seeing clean counters again!

Day 7 - Nov. 7th was the 12th anniversary of the surgery to remove my colon. I cannot believe it's been 12 years. I'm so, so, so much healthier these days, thank God. During those years of living with Crohn's disease, I never, ever thought I'd be able to say that. So today - I'm so thankful for my health!!!

Day 8 - Thankful for a solid 40-45 minutes in Adoration this morning. A friend of mine who coordinates the morning hours of Adoration at our parish suggested a Moms hour - there are 3 of us so far that are rotating for one hour each Friday morning. C fell asleep on the way there and it was amazing to sit there with him on my lap, sleeping away. DH & I used to have a weekly slot before C, and there were so many prayers (and tears) in that little chapel that some day I would be a mother. In addition to being thankful, I prayed for all of you still waiting. You are always so close to my heart.

Happy Friday, friends!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day 5: The Professionals and being past Step 3

Today I'm thankful that the "professionals" have gotten rid of the clog. That's the good news. The bad news is that we need a system flush - he said the line has a lot of grease built up and the problem is likely to happen again unless it's cleaned. Since this is the 3rd time it's happened in less than 2 years, the hydro-jet flush is scheduled for tomorrow. So… that was a pretty penny we didn't plan on spending.

The good news is that we are past Step 3 of Dave Ramsey's financial plan, so the "drain" won't hit us hard. At some point, I'm going to finish my post on Dave and how much he's helped us financially, but that will have to wait until after November. :)

Until tomorrow we're not really supposed to use the sink, so it's take-out tonight! We almost never order it (I'm sure I can count the number of times on the fingers of one hand since getting married), but since I'm still fighting this darn cold, I'm happy to take a night off from cooking.

Happy Tuesday, friends! Don't forget to vote!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4: Sometimes you have to call the professionals

Ones with a snake longer than 25 feet. Our kitchen sink has been clogged since Thursday last week. After trying every known google remedy, we're calling in the professionals. Again.

Any recommendations on garbage disposals? Our 2 year old insinkerator has been a dud since installed. (This is the 3rd time - 2nd time in 4 months - that we need it unclogged.) We put down only coffee grounds and egg shells. I wasn't thinking and put down a bunch of lettuce and broccoli. I'm curious to see if that's what did it!

And I'm thankful that we have a nice emergency fund thanks to following Dave Ramsey!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day 3: "Guck"

Day 3… I'm thankful for C waking me up this morning by coming in to share his truck "guck" with me. And it was around 8:30, thanks to DH who let me sleep in a bit extra by getting up when C actually woke up at 6:45. :) Love my little boy!!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Blessed - 30 days: Day 2

Daylight savings time. My favorite night of the year! :-D

C didn't nap well today - he had a very short one this morning (much earlier than normal because I could tell he was tired), and he refused to take one this afternoon. I am a hopeful (and probably delusional) mom thinking that this means he'll use that extra hour for sleep like DH & me!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Blessed: 30 Days - Day 1


I'm again going to try to post every day this month and focus on the things I am especially thankful for each day. I am blessed beyond what I deserve, and fostering a spirit of gratitude at this time of year is so helpful, especially since Advent is just around the corner!

Day 1: I'm so thankful for my hubby today! I always am, but this week has been hectic - C and I returned from a trip to visit my family while hubby was out of town last week, and this past weekend I was at a workshop all day Saturday and Sunday and hubby's parents were visiting to watch C. All that to say, I didn't sleep well during any of that, and C and I came down with nasty colds. And then I got a migraine I couldn't shake for 3 days. DH spent his days at work, then came home to take care of us - sometimes making dinner and often cleaning up the kitchen after I went to bed. He took such wonderful care of us! I'm a lucky girl indeed!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

From the resident bumblebee!
Liked to hand out treats!
Loved seeing himself in the piano, haha :)
Happy Halloween!!!



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

HWFD: Pumpkin Apple Spice Waffles

This girl is my new best friend. I saw the photo for these waffles and thought "I need those in my belly. Now." The recipe did not disappoint. They were fabulous! We've had these for Sunday brunch the last 2 weekends. I substituted some of the spices in the waffle mix for the Pumpkin Pie spice mix from Trader Joes - just used an equal amount of spices. I also used regular coconut milk instead of canned. I didn't want to bother with opening a can for just a little bit. And maybe I wanted to save my one remaining can of coconut milk for making pumpkin ice cream later this week. ;)

PaleOMG

Pay especially close attention to instruction #10. :-D

Enjoy!

Friday, October 4, 2013

HWFD: Spiced Pork & Butternut Squash with Sage

My sister R's boyfriend B sent this recipe to me earlier this week. As it turned out, I had a pork tenderloin defrosting in the fridge and I had just roasted up some butternut squash that was waiting to be eaten. (Actually I roasted a butternut squash and 2 other kinds of squash that I forget the name of. But, they were squash. I figured they would work.)

Recipe here
A weird substitution - I didn't have fresh chicken or beef stock (I make my own) so I used 3/4 cup of water, a dash of poultry seasoning for flavor and 1/4 cup of apple cider, just because. It was great - the pork was so nice and tender and the seasoning was perfect for a fall meal.

Happy Friday, friends! :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

17 months!

I'm a little late posting this, but I can't believe C is 17 months! He is such a delight. Here are his stats:

Height: 33 inches, I think. It's hard to get him to stretch out on the floor on the yard stick!

Weight: Around 27 pounds. Holding steady. I have no idea how given how much he eats, but then I look at him running around from the time he gets up to the time he goes to bed and figure he's burning it off and then some!

Clothes: Mostly 24 month clothes, although he still fits into some 18-mo shirts - depends on the brand. Just bought some new shoes - size 7 and a pair of Crocs, size 6/7.  And I scored big at a local consignment sale- jeans, pants, a winter coat, a winter vest, some shirts and PJs size 24 months and 2T. Since he wears cloth diapers the 2T pants fit better around his rear, but they are too long. I'll probably end up hemming them rather than just folding them up.

Eats: Everything. Literally. For a while he wasn't too crazy about salmon - but maybe it was because we still mixed it with avocado. He started asking for it when we grilled it a few weeks back and hasn't turned back. Yay! He loves butternut squash and points to it when I open the fridge, and raw green peppers. I am seriously amazed - I didn't like green peppers myself until a few years ago. If it doesn't eat him first, he'll eat it.

Health: We were playing with his diet for a bit this summer- he got eczema late last spring which we attributed to strawberries. It didn't seem to go completely away, but now it seems more like dry skin, rather than the eczema. As long as I lotion him after each bath, and sometimes in the morning as well, his skin looks good. Also, he got his first "illness" in August. The only symptom was really messy diapers - which gave him a bit of a yeast infection when he made a mess in the middle of the night and didn't fuss to wake us up. By the time I changed him in the morning, poor thing was not in good shape. An anti-fungal cream worked well. The messy diapers were caused by a very small and rare bug - cryptosporidium. Kind of crazy - the health department even called because it is so rare. We figured it would be almost impossible to track down the source - he had been in local pools, the lake and outside all summer around the time he probably caught it. In any case, we actually started making his formula again for a few days - adding all the oils and probiotic, and giving him bone broth in some of his food and it cleared up. So... boo.. his first illness, I guess, but no drugs/antibiotics other than the OTC cream.

Sleep: Great here! I wish he would take his afternoon nap without me lying down next to him, but he still sleeps in our bed during the day because it's darker there. But he usually naps from 2-2 1/2 hours. Sleep at night is awesome - anywhere from 12-13 hours! He goes down between 7 and 7:30 and isn't up until close to 8. It's a nice change from the 6 am wake-ups during the spring and early summer!

Teeth: The gums over his molars are so swollen, but none have popped through yet. I've been making him popsicle smoothies and he gets one of those each day - hopefully it helps. He is fussy every now and then, but it's not bad.

What I love about this age: He is SO affectionate these days - always coming over to give me kisses... on my knees if I'm sitting down... it's so, so sweet. And sometimes when I tell him no, haha. I tell him "no", he pauses, then comes over and hugs my leg and gives me a kiss. "Why do you tell me no, Mama? I love you, I love you, smooch, smooch." What a charmer. :) Also, I love that he is so full of energy. He wakes up cheerful most days and gives me a huge grin and jumps up and down when I go in to get him out of bed in the morning. He runs and runs and runs around the house. His latest is running around things - usually a chair or his learning tower in the kitchen. He's started climbing, and stepping on and off curbs without holding onto anything. He LOVES playing the piano. He'll sit on the bench and plunk away for up to 20 minutes sometimes. And he loves going into our garage - our "gym" and imitating me or DH.

Words: The usual,  - Dada, Mama, Ball, "E-sus", "icky", my sis R's nickname, and I forget what else. He sometimes sings when he plays the piano - random syllables, but I love it. And he'll sing back to me the five note solfege pattern - so, fa, mi, re, do. (Always descending, no ascending notes yet). Sometimes he absolutely nails the pitches too! Woo-hoo for a little singer! He's learned to sign "more" and "please" consistently, which makes for a less whiny mealtime when he wants more!

Some photos from the last few weeks/weekends:

Running with Daddy at the park
I know I cut off his head on this one, but I love that grin!
Happy little boy :)
A trip to visit family last weekend:
 Holding sweet cousin, M. :)

On the move
More on the move. It's blurry, but I still love this shot.
An attempt at an official "17 months" pose.
And... fail.
Loves Auntie R!
And finally... because ONE has been such fun...
On our way to the post office...
That's right! We're ready for #2!!! :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

ISR - Infant Swimming Resource

For the past 5 1/2 weeks Caleb has been taking swim lessons with Infant Swimming Resource (ISR). I'm not being paid to endorse these lessons, but I have been impressed from the start. What I love about ISR is the focus on the child. From their website:
ISR believes pool fences, supervision, and pool alarms are important parts of a necessary multi-layered approach to drowning prevention. However, traditional lines of defense break down, and the over 4,000 drowning deaths per year bear a grim testament to the fact that traditional approaches are missing a key component: the child. ISR’s core conviction is that the child is the most important part of a drowning prevention strategy and our over 260,000 ISR graduates and 800 documented survival stories are proof that children can save themselves. Children are curious, capable, and have an uncanny ability to overcome obstacles like pool fences; at ISR we take that ability and teach them skills to potentially save themselves if they find themselves in the water alone.
You can read more about the program on their website here. If you have an instructor near you, I was able to go and watch a few lessons before I signed C up. 

Here are a few videos of C that I took this week! Next week is his last week - during which he'll practice going into the water fully clothed - shoes and all!! Refresher lessons are recommended after a while - children grow so quickly that what felt normal to them at one time will feel very different with a larger body. So - C will have some refresher lessons in the spring or early summer before the pool opens. Since DH & I love swimming and our family vacations at a lake every summer, we want him to love and enjoy time in the water.

Swimming to the ladder. I think his little protest at the end is because he
knows he's not allowed to climb all the way out on the ladder. :)
 

 Rolling onto his back to breathe when he can't make it all the way. 

Happy Friday, friends! :)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Welcome Home Wednesdays: Fall Mantel



We're finally getting some "fall-ish" temperatures around here and I am so happy to put away summer decorations! Our mantel downstairs is the only thing that really changed from last year - here it is!


I don't remember the source of the fall printable - but there are loads of free ones available. If you really like this one, let me know and I can email it to you! :)


I was stuck figuring out what to put in the large space, until my husband suggested the eagle cross-stitch I made for him a few years ago and had framed at Michaels. I love using things I already have!


The "Thankful" banner came from a few inspirations - Etsy and this banner that you can print for free here. I was originally going to print the triangle shaped banner but had the leaves from Crate and Barrel. I ended up making my own "square letters" on cream card stock, then glued them to brown wrapping paper and attached them to the leaves. I used kitchen twine to hang it. I really like the way it turned out!



 
close up
 
Love this. A gift from my hubby's good friend & his wife.
Mini pumpkins and berries from Pottery Barn a few years ago. I have them in several locations.

Little helper realized he too could climb on top of the foot locker 
after watching Mama try to get better angles for photos. :)


Have you started decorating for fall yet?




Monday, September 16, 2013

HWFD: Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Prosciutto & Figs


I apologize first for not having a photo of this recipe! We finished the leftovers before I thought to snap one. Oops. It was delicious though!

The original recipe from my Cooking Light Superfast Supper Cookbook calls for fig preserves (which are usually hard to find anyway) and chicken. I adapted it for a pork recipe because that was what I could get at the farmers market last week. The farm I buy all our meat from was selling the figs too. Yum!!

Ingredients:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt - for sprinkling on the tenderloin
8 slices (about 1/4 pound each, maybe a little more) pork tenderloin (chops would probably work well too!)
1 1/2 cups figs (roughly)
1 package (4 oz) prosciutto - I used Applegate Farms
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. water

Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Lightly season pork with salt on both sides, then add to pan. I made sure the pan was warm before I added the pork so I could sear the sides. I did have to layer and rotate the pork since I made 8 slices, but it seared quickly. While the pork (or chicken if you like) sears, dice up your prosciutto and chop the figs. After your pork has seared on both sides, turn the heat down to low and add the prosciutto, figs, balsamic vinegar and water. I had mine on really low because I was teaching a lesson during the cooking time so it was on the stove about 30 minutes. It was really tender and the prosciutto and figs with the balsamic was a great combination.

I served the pork with a nice big salad - spinach and cucumbers from the farmers market. Delicious!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

HWFD - 2 fabulous GF desserts!

I recently made 2 desserts which were super tasty!

The first is an adaptation from Sarah Fragoso's berry cobbler in her Everyday Paleo cookbook, but also found on her website here. She recommended using peaches as an alternate, and I had a bunch of fresh peaches from the farmers market sitting on my counter. I can't eat peaches raw - they make my mouth itchy, but I can eat them cooked. (Same thing with raw apples and carrots.)

Here's the berry version photo:


Here's the recipe, made with peaches:

Peach Cobbler
4 peaches, sliced
1-2 tablespoons raw honey
1 1/2 cup almond flour (I use Honeyville)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 egg
2 tablespoons cinnamon (I didn't measure the cinnamon, just shook a bunch on - I think it was closer to 1 T)
Coconut milk - a few tablespoons per serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place sliced peaches in a baking dish (I used a 9 x 7) and drizzle with honey.
In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, coconut oil, egg and cinnamon and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over the peaches.
Bake for 35 minutes.

Serve warm, drizzled with coconut milk. YUM!! We went to a 50th wedding anniversary celebration last weekend and the cupcakes looked delicious but of course I couldn't have them. I made this later that night and it totally satisfied my sweet craving! :)

The second recipe I found through Everyday Paleo and pinned a while back. I made it for our July blogger meet-up and made it again this past weekend for a cookout.

Paleo Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Coconut Cream Glaze

 
It's as tasty as it looks!!




Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What we've been up to & photo dump!

I have been such a bad blogger of late! I still enjoy reading all of your updates, even though I may not be commenting as much as usual. One of my goals this summer was to spend less time online. Some days/weeks were better than others! :) Part of it is due to C switching to one nap a day--occasionally he'll nap in the car in the morning if we're on our way back from Mass, or errands, but he always wakes up as soon as I take him out of the car. Anyway, I had a few projects that have been on my to-do list for what seems like forever and I finally decided I would tackle them this summer. It's amazing the things you can accomplish when you're not online!

1) I finally finished a skirt my sister R, bought in Italy in uh... 2010. She wanted me to - well, as she said, "do something with it." I'm not a great seamstress by any means, but I did what I could. She said I could take the whole thing apart, but I've never sewed a skirt with 2 layers, so I didn't. Looking back, I should have made pillow covers or something with it. It was a really great pattern, haha. Anyway, I finished "doing something with it" and gave it back!

2) More sewing - I am almost done with the Steelers quilt I've been meaning to make for... oh... since before I got married. I was tired of looking at the fabric and decided that I should have it ready for the start of this season. (Not that I'm expecting a great season, but I can still hope.) Anyway, both of the sides are done - one side is black and white alternating fabric with the team logo and the other side is alternating black and gold patterned fabric. I have to order the batting from Amazon and assemble it, but the hard work is done. I'll post photos when it's finished.

That's the end of my sewing. :)

3) We just came back from 2 weeks of vacation at the lake with my family and a few days in OH with DH's family while DH worked out of that local office. It was wonderful to be away! It wasn't as much of a vacation as I'd hoped though. My poor DH came down with a wicked sinus infection a few days before we had to leave. We thought it was just a cold, but then the night we arrived, he got much worse. A few nights it was so bad that he ended up sleeping downstairs in a chair so he could sit upright. I couldn't fall asleep with him coughing that hard and he was afraid to wake up C in the pack-n-play. Ugh. Finally by the end of the week he was feeling better, though he still has a bit of a lingering cough here and there. Also, the night we arrived, I found out my mom had gone to the local ER. She ended up having her gallbladder removed the next night! Fortunately, it went very well, and aside from the nastiest bruise I'd ever seen (it was the size of a softball), she was told she could resume normal activities. Except swimming, the doc said. (We told her she could still water ski, since she wasn't technically swimming, haha.) Fortunately, my sis and my aunt are both nurses (and I've seen enough surgical incisions to know what they are supposed to look like when healing) that we were all able to keep an eye on her and make sure she didn't do anything she wasn't supposed to. Like lift C, the lumberjack. :) Anyway, despite the illnesses, and the weather being colder than it usually is, we had a good time. We were able to get in a few days of water skiing, and a boat ride with C. And DH and I got in a few rounds of bananagrams. :) And I finished a book!

4) My sis V and her DH and daughter are on their way south to their new home. Unfortunately it is a plane ride away. :( My BIL is doing a doctoral program so they'll be there at least 3 years. I told her we better get frequent videos and photos of my niece! We won't get to see them all that often.

Photos from the last few weeks:

My niece, M. Isn't she the sweetest!!
"I'm keeping my eye on you, M." Actually, C was very good with her.
He gave her lots of kisses in addition to wanting to touch her a lot. :)
Not sure if he was planning to do dead-lifts with this one...
It was very windy the first several days we were there.
I'd take C out on the dock and he'd have his tongue hanging out
like a puppy. DH kept calling him MJ.
My mom's Christmas card photo already ordered and on it's way
thanks to the free 101 prints from Shutterfly this weekend! :-D
Not sure about the boat ride and having the floor move!!
Tired. Or bored?
Some cold days skiing, but this was one of the warmer ones.
My sis R and I had fun with the sports setting on my camera.
I hope to have a zoom lens by next summer!
Beautiful!
After-vacation weigh-in. Apparently everyone gains weight, haha.
His new car seat - a Britax Marathon 70-G3 in Cowmooflage arrived today, haha. :)
My cute nephew on DH's side of the family! He came the one
night wearing this and I had C's packed and upstairs in his suitcase!

And finally... once we arrived home, someone learned a new trick...

Today he climbed up and when I asked him what he was doing, he clapped.
Sigh... I think I better order that learning tower as well.
Happy Tuesday, everyone! I hope to be back to blogging a bit more regularly now. :)


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Little Crossfitter

After watching DH & me while we workout in the garage, apparently C has picked up a few moves....










Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It's Not About Me

Every now and then I come across a new (to-me) adoption blog and it's as though the author reached in my head and heart and put words to the emotions I'm unable to describe or explain.

In the 14 - almost 15! - months that we've had C, adoption is something I think about every day. Not because I feel any less toward C, as if giving birth to him would have made him more special. He is my son. It's that I remember that there is another woman to whom I owe everything. Every joy that I have experienced as a mother has come at a great cost to her. My joy came through her pain. I know she doesn't regret her decision - she has told me as much. In a beautiful way, she told me that my husband and I deserved the blessing - the gift that is a child. But she has also shared that there are those times when she is sad; when she misses him. How could she not??

The best is often brought about at the cost of great pain. As a child, it was hard for me to understand why Good Friday was called "Good." God was crucified. It's good because through that pain, through His Cross, Christ redeemed us.

Adoption comes from a loss - a loss of C's first family, of his first mother. Sometimes it just breaks my heart that he will know that pain someday. Now he is too young, completely unaware of his story. But someday, that pain will be there. I hope the love he feels from me and my husband, as well as his birth family, will help ease that pain.

C has been saying "mama" and "dada" for a while now. He tries to repeat words back to us when we ask him to - sometimes what comes out is pretty funny. :) Last week my husband and I realized that he is very clearly saying one word. He says it over and over again. "E-sus." Jesus. He recognizes Jesus in the Sacred Heart statue on the way into a church that we frequent for daily Mass. He recognizes Jesus on the Cross in our own parish. He recognizes him in the Stations of the Cross. He recognizes Him on the Cross outside the church where the scene is displayed from his Crucifixion with Mary and John at his feet. He recognizes him when we go to a church he hasn't been in before - he just knows. He raises his arms every time and says "E-sus!" Sometimes, like yesterday, he blows him a kiss without prompting. Each time it gives me chills.

His life is a gift. It doesn't belong to me. I'm only blessed - very blessed - to be his mother and to teach him about the One who made him, who designed him for His purpose.

My prayer for him is that someday he comes to realize the same thing I'm only beginning to understand.

It's not about me. It never was. It's about Him.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How will you use your beauty? The Bikini Question

The Bikini Question

Swimwear has been on my mind frequently lately, as C and I have been at the pool most days that it hasn’t been raining. 

This is a fantastic video of a presentation by actress and swimsuit designer, Jessica Rey that I just saw in an article on Mercator. (Her swimsuits can be found here.)



I highly recommend watching the video - it’s just under 10 minutes - but here are the points I love that she makes. 


  • The bikini was invented in France by french engineer Louie RĂ©ard. He named it after the the site of the atomic bomb testing that year - Bikini Atoll. He thought the public’s reaction would be like an atomic bomb explosion and he was right. His design was based on exposing the belly button for the first time and he said it wouldn’t be a true bikini unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring. (Dang... that’s not much fabric!)
  • It was so scandelous that no french model would wear it so he had to hire a stripper to debut his bikini.
  • If you go to the beach today - it seems as though every woman is wearing one. It wasn’t an instant hit in the US however. In 1957, Modern Girl Magazine said it was hardly necessary to waste words on the so-called bikini because no girl with tact or decency would ever wear such a thing. One writer described it as a two-piece bathing suit that revealed everything about a girl except her mother’s maiden name.
  • Obviously, times have changed. A NY times reporter called the bikini the millennial equivalent to the power suit. What kind of power does it bring?
  • A Princeton study done asked How does the male brain react to seeing people in different amounts of clothing?
  • When men were shown photos of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tools, such as screwdrivers or hammers, lit up.
  • Some men showed zero brain activity in the medial pre-frontal cortex - the part of the brain that lights up when one ponders another person’s thoughts, feeling and intentions. Researchers found this shocking because they almost never see this part of the brain shut down in this way. A Princeton professor said It’s as if they are reacting to these women as if they are not fully human. It’s consistent with the idea that they are responding to these photographs as if they are responding to objects, not people.
  • So... it does give a woman power - the power to shut down the part of a man’s brain where he sees her as a person, not an object.

Modesty. The word is often met with disdain. Does it mean we need to be frumpy, dumpy and out of fashion? 

Jessica’s goal is to disprove the age-old notion that when it comes to swimsuits that less is more. You can dress modestly without sacrificing fashion.

Her model/inspiration is Audrey Hepburn - she’s got some really cute suits such as this one named Holly:

Well, I probably won't wear my hair like this :)
Named for Audrey's character Holly in Breakfast at Tiffany's

Her tagline is - who says it has to be itsy-bitsy? Modesty isn’t about covering up our bodies because they are bad. It isn’t about hiding ourselves, it’s about revealing our dignity. We were made beautiful in His image and likeness.
Her final question in the video is: How will you use your beauty?

I confess - I used to wear them. Everyone did (still does, it seems) so I joined the crowd sometime in high school. I had some cute ones that I loved. And there is no doubt - they are much, much, MUCH easier to find than an attractive one-piece. I can remember one time while on vacation (years ago) that someone commented that they thought I was running around in my bra - not my swimsuit. Yikes! I remember feeling really uncomfortable, but I still wore them for a few more years. Finally, I really starting thinking about it more and realized it was exactly like running around in my bra and underwear... the only difference is the fabric.

What did you think of the video? And honestly asking - what are your thoughts on swimwear?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Last weekend

Another busy week over here. After traveling, it always feels like I'm playing catch-up. While I try not to spend too much time on the weekends doing work around the house, inevitably when I don't have a weekend, there is more work during the week. Such is life! :)

We had a lovely visit with Caleb's birth mother. Really, the day couldn't have gone any better! It was such a joy to see her and to see how much she loves C still. DH & I were definitely both nervous heading into it, as it had been a year, and we've had almost no contact since then, other than the letters and photos we sent. But despite that, I still love open adoption. As I wrote in this post, I do hope we continue to keep in touch, even if it is infrequent. Maybe we'll have more contact now that we've exchanged emails. Only time will tell.

DH & I thank you all for your prayers for our visit! I'm sure that things went smoothly in part based on your prayers!! :)

Other than the visit, we're settling into summer over here. I LOVE having our local farmer's market back - we had to travel a bit more for one during the winter and DH & I would go on Saturdays with C. We tried to limit it to once a month - we were the ones buying 10-12 dozen eggs, haha - but we always seemed to pick the coldest weekends to go! Now that summer is here, the Thursday one I like better is back open, and C and I go in the mornings before his nap. I'm trying to buy almost all our food there - we've had delicious squash, potatoes, blueberries, strawberries, asparagus and of course a lot of meat and eggs. :) Yesterday, I was washing up the strawberries and blueberries and C was walking around the kitchen, occasionally getting samples of blueberries. At one point I looked over and he was munching on the green stem of an onion! City girl here - I never knew that onions had those green stalks attached to them. I pulled off the one C munched on and sliced up a bunch of the rest for our eggs in the morning. As I tried to fasten the container (holding C in one arm as he didn't want to be put down), I dropped it. Slices of onion went everywhere, and he dove right in to help me pick them up by eating them. I grabbed several of them out of his hand, but he got another one in his mouth and was running out of the kitchen so I couldn't take the last one. As he was running, I heard him happily crunching with his teeth. :) Onions and blueberries... what a combination!

Happy Friday everyone! :)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

This and that

I can't believe it's already June! What a crazy few weeks we've had around here...

1) Memorial Day weekend was our 6th anniversary. My parents came for a visit... they watched Caleb (who apparently could have cared less that we were gone :)) while we went to see Iron Man 3 and get ice cream at SweetFrog. The movie was great, and so was the ice cream. :) I never had any interest in comic books, or movies made from them, until DH.... and now, I will happily watch any movie and The Avengers is one of my favorites. Who knew! :)

2) My students had both their spring adjudications and recital last week. They all did well, but we had a bit of an adventure at the church where the adjudications took place. The night before they were to take place, there was a really bad storm - lightning took out a very large tree and left the church without power. After one of my students auditioned by whatever light we could get using the windows, we ended up moving to another teacher's home because we couldn't be in the building without power. The parents were awesome and understanding at the change of location - and some of them I had to call en route! I really work with amazing families. :) I took this week off though, and will resume lessons next week. Summer is always a lighter schedule which I love!

3) Last weekend, my sis R came for a visit. She's awesome and C LOVED playing with her. And she's the PT so C got a bunch of treatment while she was here. He had no idea - she makes games of everything. No wonder her families back home love her! :)

4) C got a TOTcollar as one more item to help treat his torticollis. He still has about a 5 degree tilt... the TOTcollar wasn't fitted properly however, so he hasn't been wearing it. It actually made his tilt worse, so we're going back to get it refitted next week.

5) In other health news, C apparently has an allergy to strawberries. Whatever it is - he has a bad case of eczema on his shoulders and upper arms. I couldn't figure out why it was so bad, but then DH and I wondered if it was the strawberries - he loves them and was eating them all day! So, we dropped them from his diet and his skin seems to be improving. Maybe we'll try them next year. He doesn't seem at all bothered by it - he's not scratching at all, but it was clear something was up.

6) I have hesitated to say anything about this on the blog, but we have a visit with C's birthmother this coming weekend. We haven't seen her since last summer... I'm nervous and excited at the same time. Please pray for a good visit!!

7) We've spent a good amount of time at the pool lately. Fortunately, there is one in our development - we literally have to walk out the front door. Love that convenience of townhome living! C has NO FEAR of the water... and while I'm grateful that he doesn't seem timid, him wanting me to let go is not exactly what I had in mind! Hopefully he will enjoy swimming in the lake later in the summer as much!

8) We broke down and got a baby gate. While DH & I know C can climb the stairs fine on his own, he was getting a little to ambitious in his bolts for the stairs down to the front door. I spent almost 30 minutes talking with a story employee to get the right kind of gate. As you can see, we have the gate stretched across 2 sets of stairs so I needed a really wide gate.



We didn't want to drill into the wall or the banisters, but kind of made our peace with it being necessary, until I thought of these little babies - at $6 for 3 (I had one leftover from a garage project), it was better on the wallet than the $50 we originally spent on the banister and wall mounting kits!


I'm sure zip-ties could be used as well! I like that these are rubber and have a great grip on both the banister and the gate.

9) One more prayer request for a special intention. I can't go into detail yet, but hopefully will be able to in a few weeks. (And, no, I'm not pregnant and we are not adopting again - at least not yet on the adoption part. :)) Just prayers for a personal situation. Thanks!

Sorry to have been MIA for a while... I hope to get back to blogging - and commenting more - on a regular basis in a few weeks. Hope you all are having a great week! :)
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