Monday, September 10, 2007

a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance

Today we weep. Today we mourn.

Glory Baby
by Watermark

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…

Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a
day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you
‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it’s hard to
understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…

I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Alive and well...

I'm back. No triumphant re-entry here...just a humble hundredth attempt to blog with some regularity. We shall see. Things here are slightly insane, which has a lot to do (I think) with my compulsion to write. If I don't process all of the nuttiness that is whirling around me at a frightening pace these days, I fear I may get caught up in the cyclone and be carried off to a crazy place.

So what variety of nuttiness have we got on our plates this month of August, 2007?

Selling our house. Now that Robert has been commuting 2 hours a day for 2 that he is tackling a masters degree on top of full-time that I am also commuting 2 hours a that Ella attends Montesorri in the same general vicinity of Robert's that we have found a church in the same town as Ella's school....Well, yeah, you get it. It no longer makes any sense at all for us to live in South Jersey, when every commitment we have is an hour+ away in PA. So, the house is on the market, and we hope and pray daily for a quick sale. Know anyone who wants to plop down in Barrington??

New job. Tomorrow will kick off my second week as Membership Director at the Main Line YMCA. The daily rhythm of the workplace agrees with me, and I am glad to be exercising parts of my brain that I fear have developed a thick covering of cobwebs over the past 3 years of full-time motherhood. Don't get me wrong- motherhood is challenging and rewarding in ways I can't even begin to find words to explain. And yet, the office environment is reawakening parts of me that I missed and longed for, and I am grateful.

New school. Despite our failed attempt at introducing Ella to Montessori last winter, we decided to give it another go. We found a different (and infinitely superior, in my not-so-humble opinion) Montessori program near Robert's office, and have hit the ground running, with no turning back. Ella made a sweet friend in the first few minutes of her first day (5 year old Katya), and is thriving in this environment of encouraged independence, free exploration and self-directed learning. She shows no upset at either drop-off or pick-up, which is a huge relief and joy for both myself and Robert.

New church. We have found a new church which we hope to call home, and are thankful beyond words for a new chance to sink into community, and to worship and servce Christ alongside like-minded believers. Right now it is hard to really 'dig in' in the way that we hope to, being that we live over an hour away. However, once the house sells, the plan is to be within 15 minutes of church, our jobs, and Ella's school.

On that note, pray with us for a speedy and uncomplicated sale of the house that we've spent 2 years turning into our home. It will be a bittersweet departure...but factoring in commutes, it will mostly be sweet!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Echoing Green

A Dream of Trees

by Mary Oliver

There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees,
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town,
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
I would have time, I thought, and time to spare,
With only streams and birds for company,
To build out of my life a few wild stanzas.
And then it came to me, that so was death,
A little way away from everywhere.

There is a thing in me still dreams of trees.
But let it go. Homesick for moderation,
Half the world's artists shrink or fall away.
If any find solution, let him tell it.
Meanwhile I bend my heart toward lamentation
Where, as the times implore our true involvement,
The blades of every crisis point the way.

I would it were not so, but so it is.
Who ever made music of a mild day?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I've been tagged by a fellow AP mama, and resident of one of my former "home states", Heather. So, I'll acquiesce...

The rules are as follows:
Each person who gets tagged needs to write a blog post telling 6 weird things about themself... as well as clearly state the rules.

After you state your 6 weird things, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names.

Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you're tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog for information as to what it means.


1.) I am thinking quite seriously about dreadlocking my hair, once it's back to a longer length.

2.) I rarely cook. In our house, hubby does about 95% of the cooking :)

3.) I grew up in NJ, and for the 10 years away I thought I was a Northern girl who just needed to return to her element. I've returned, been back for 2 years, and you know what? I hate the frenzied, frantic pace, and mourn the distracted, disconnected state of relationships. I long for the smallness and community of the places I've lived down South.

4.) I vascillate between wanting to birth more babies, and thinking that we will adopt the rest of our brood.

5.) I buy cute high heels and wedges, and then spend 99% of my time barefoot, or in flip flops or ballet flats.

6.) I used to be a HUGE extrovert....I was long known as an outgoing "social butterfly", and throughout most of college I flitted amongst many crowds and groups of friends. Now, I am a classic introvert....I'm not even sure how such a shift occurs!?!

I don't know if these classify as "weird" per se....maybe more like "quirky-facts-that-remain-outside-the-realm-of-general- knowledge? Anywho...there ya have it!

As for my six friends, I'll go with:








Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Final Installment, Etc.

I can hear what you're thinking... "Ok, enough already with the thrifting finds." I know, I know....but please, just indulge me once more. If nothing else, it's worth sticking around for the "grand finale" find at the very bottom ;)

Today, after picking Ella up from "school" (more on that later), I stopped at a thrift shop, in the town that just so happens to be the #1 place to live in America. After 2 straight days of succesful thrifting, I admit, I couldn't resist the siren's song. So, in I went. And out I came with:

Two packages of really cool wrapping paper (?)...haven't decided yet whether I'll mat and frame them as artwork, or use them for paper crafting....Hmmm.....

I like to find unique boxes for holding Ella's elastics, barrettes, jewelry, etc. I thought this one was totally presh, with all of the farm animals and such. I hope you can see some of the detail in this picture :)

3 containers for storing crayons, colored pencils, scissors, paintbrushes, and other miscellaneous art supplies! These are neat-o, b/c they are made of some soft, stretchy plastic other words, something Ella can't break, or dent furniture with. LOL.

A fun "American Girl" stripey sweater that Miss Ella will grow into. It does have built-in belt loops, but no I may have to hunt down one of you crafty knitting types, to come up with a humble little coordinating belt tie

Ok, so here's the aforementioned finale....

Remember these from Day One?

And then remember how I found these, that matched, but there were only I shrugged my shoulders, and bought them to serve as votive holders??

Well, would you believe that TODAY, 2 days later and about 20 towns over, I found another 9 of the exact same glass!?!?!
So, with a full set of 12 goblets, I'll be returning my votives to their box, and breaking out a bottle of red!

Eclipsing all of the fun little treasures I've excavated from dusty, dingy thrift stores throughout the past week, were these beauties, brought home for me by my hubby last night:

Nobody in their right mind can call my husband a romantic dud (No, Robert, not even you!)

And finally, today was Ella's first "first day of school." She will be attending Montessori preschool on weekday mornings, and today was her first foray into the world of preschool, and into the particular wonders of the Montessori method of learning. In honor of this monumental occasion, we took the obligatory "first day of school" pictures:

Hamming it up for the camera (or, for the intimates in Ella's life- "putting on Popeye"):

Monday, January 15, 2007

Goodwill, Take 2

Hit up another local Goodwill store today, and came away with more treasures worth mentioning:

A sassy little shawl for Ella :)

A cable knit Baby Gap sweater, 1/10 the price it would've cost new!

Pink, sage & yellow flower-shaped votive holders for atop Miss Ella's dresser :)

A precious and colorful handknit baby cap, for that little sister that Ella keeps asking for... (Nope, still not pregnant!)

How cool is this parka? I know I bought one of these for myself in high school...."down the shore" in Ocean City. Also Baby Gap...also insanely cheap!

Another Baby Gap sweater....I love the detailing on this one....(see close-up below)

32-piece set (8 full place settings) of brand-new, in-the-box pottery-style dishware (Sicily Caramel by Thomas Pottery). $8!?!?!?!

A cane-style basket, that I'll use in my living and dining rooms interchangeably. 99 cents.

Another score for Ella on the wooden toy front! Check out this adorable "baby cradle" that I'll be painting and re-vamping :)

2 packages of brand-new, in their original packaging, Target red cloth napkins, to be used for Christmases to come...

And a nifty, green bud vase for my living room.

And thrifty Lauren lived happily ever after. The end.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Thrifting Success

Yesterday I was inspired to resurrect an old habit of mine- thrifting. I used to be an old pro at the game, but in recent years have gotten sucked into the false allure of the "new." So, after perusing Sara's blog yesterday, reading a few good articles, checking out Compacting, and hearing about my friend Mollie's success in finding a "new to her couch" during one of her thrifting adventures, I hopped in my van. With Ella in tow (and Robert gone working on a group project for his Masters program), I ventured out to our closest Goodwill store, and got to shopping. And boy was it a succesful trip! For under $30 I scored everything you see below:

A gorgeous, mocha-toned silk curtain panel for our bedroom. $2.99

A cute, colorful basket with a handle, to be hung in the playroom for storing our downstairs stash of clean cloth diapers. $1.99

A vintage, funky red beaded necklace that I'm hoping will go with a smoking hot strapless red dress I bought recently to wear to a wedding. 99 cents.

A tin to be used either as a wall decoration, or to hold something, in my bold-orange-and-red crafting room. 49 cents.

A funky patterened mug. I like to drink my morning coffee out of mugs whose design inspires me :) 29 cents.

3 cool, vintage bowls to be hung as wall ornaments in my dining room. My dining room is chocolate brown, with lots of bright yellow and white perfect are these??? All 3 cost me just 75 cents!

Just a closer up shot, minus the price stickers, which were blocking full view of the pattern in the previous pic ;)

Rainboots for Ella- 2 pairs, one in her current size (gently used), and one in a future size, BRAND NEW. Cost for both pairs? $6.

2 old milk jugs to be used a juice decanters- 99 cents for the pair.

Brand new Bath & Body Works cosmetic holder, for all of my pedicure/manicure supplies! $1.99

A crafting tote for Ella, 99 cents.

AWESOME, stylin' leather baby shoes (for the next one...and no, I'm not pregnant!), 99 cents.

Quite possibly the "find of the day." A painted wooden picnic basket, snatched up for Ella's new wooden kitchen and wooden play food. $1.99

Can't decide if these are wine, water or champagne glasses, but they are tinted brown, and so dainty....I love 'em! 6 glasses for a grand total of 90 cents!!

These match the skinnier glasses pictured above, but sadly, there were only 3. I bought them to use as votive holders. (See below) Set of 3, 75 cents.

How pretty are these hand painted glass mugs? I'll be using them for serving tea :) 6 for $1.25

And there you have it, my friends....more evidence that you should go thrifting. And that new is not always better....and certainly not cheaper!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

AP Mama in Training :)

Lately, Ella's pretend play has often been baby-centric :) She has approached me with any number of blankets, pieces of clothing, etc., and asked me to tie her baby onto her with them. What a great mama she will make! Three days ago I dug out Robert's Cuddle-n-Carry sling (a mei tei or Asian-style carrier), and modified it so Ella could carry her baby around. How cute is that?!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Confessions of an Eco-Conscious Mama

I'm a mama first.

Many people in my (extended) family will tell you that I'm a bit of an ecological nut. I think it was my brother Andrew, who suggested we name our next child "Organica." Ella knows to check with me before putting anything in the trash- lest it be recyclable. :) We are card-carrying members of our local CSA, and we do most of our other grocery shopping at Whole Foods. In addition, we try to make alternative consumer choices, for example, trading in:

-Disposable diapers for cloth
-Traditional lightbulbs for low-wattage, compact fluorescent lightbulbs
-Plastic AND paper grocery bags for canvas

But now comes the confession. (This is the instant in which you should picture me ducking under my dining room table to dodge flying tomatoes....)

Swiffer dusters are my new best friend.

That's right- this self-proclaimed eco-mama buys Swiffer Duster refills in bulk (gulp), and then tosses chlorine-bleached waste into my trash, and consequently our landfills, each and every time I take to dusting my house. And I can attribute it to just 2 things-

-The self-serving: I love that these things PICK UP my dust, rather than just pushing it around

-The mama reality- I am a mom first...and if there is a disposable product that can speed up my cleaning, and help me turn my attention back to my daughter sooner, then *for this season* I'll lay down a small piece of my idealism, and pick up that Swiffer Duster, happily and without an ounce of guilt.

(Okay, maybe just an ounce....)

"The cleaning and scrubbing will wait til tomorrow,
for children grow up, as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep."