Tuesday, February 28, 2012

guidelines for our marriage

something that i guess i didn't realize or didn't ask enough questions about was what marriage is really like.

when i was growing up, i thought my parents had the best marriage. well, i guess i shouldn't say that. what i really mean is that my parents, i thought, had such a stable marriage that i just didn't think about it. i took it for granted. i was happy and sheltered away from divorce and custody issues. my parents held hands when we went shopping, held hands in the car. my sister and i would be happily in the middle of reciting a movie or tv show in the back seat of the car while mom and dad had "grown up" discussions up front, holding hands. i can remember my parents arguing maybe a handful of times the whole time that i grew up. and i never remember any slamming doors or outright yelling. they picked and teased, never maliciously, and laughed a lot.

as i grew older, i remember my dad telling me that marriage took a lot of work. i wasn't sure how this was really possible, since it didn't seem like it was all that hard for them. it seemed like the easiest thing in the world. i remember him telling me that when couples fail to work on the marriage, that's when they fall apart. turns out, he was right. before mom passed away, i think mom went through a mid-life crisis of sorts, and she and dad got divorced. though, they got back together before she passed, and i fully believe that had she not been ill and had she not passed on, they'd be back together today.

knowing this things, and having these things happen prior to jay and i getting married was probably meant to help us in our marriage. i'm thinking. when jay and i first got together, we laid out some ground rules for each other.

1. no name calling.

2. no words can be said that "i'm sorry" doesn't cover.

3. honesty, above all else.

now that we've been together almost 10 years, and we've been married almost 5, there are a variety of other rules that we've instated. well, i don't know that they're "rules," per se, but a variety of guidelines that we've built into our marriage. i won't number them, only because i think they're equally important to each other.

marriage is a lot of work.

marriage requires open and honest communication.

never say the word "divorce" in the middle of an argument.

loyalty and chivalry are not lost arts, and should be employed at all times.

marriage should be defended the way one defends their own life or their children's lives.

always make your spouse feel like the most important thing in your life, because they ARE one of the most important things in your life.

arguments are good...healthy, even. they clear the air and keep dialogue going.

ask your spouse their thoughts on any and every decision you make.

every day, ask how your spouse's day has been.

tell your spouse how you feel about everything...from clothing, to television shows, to meals.

tell your spouse you love them every night before you go to sleep.

ruminate on disagreements. the bigger the disagreement, the longer one should ponder it.

say thank you, good job, and that you're proud of your spouse every day.

pray with/about/around your spouse.

say you're sorry when you should, and mean it. say you're sorry when it counts.

laugh together. and pick on each other.

be the spouse you'd be glad to have your children have.

don't be afraid of conflict. everyone has a right to their opinion, but has a right to be respected at the same time.

above all...i think it's important to realize that the wedding begins it, but the marriage is what is cultivated, groomed, pruned, and ultimately blooms the fruit of all that hard work. it's what nourishes our children, and helps them grow into independent people with values and ethics. it is the most difficult, heart-wrenching, bewitching, fulfilling investment that a person can make, next to having children. and in the end, it's part of God's design, and part of making our lives holy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

a letter to my children about marriage

a letter by kelly crawford has inspired this blog...i think it's a wonderful message, and one that reminds us, as adults, in good times and bad, just exactly what we're in for. it's something that i hope to instill in my children, though society in general sees things differently.

Dear Children,

Should the Lord give you the good gift of a husband or wife, and I hope He does, there are a few things I want you to know. Things that you may not hear from anyone else, and certainly not on TV or other media. Sadly, your brothers and sisters in Christ may not even tell you.

Marriage, sweet little people, is not for the purpose of your happiness. Happy as I want you to be and hope you will be, you must yet understand that marriage is God’s design and His purposes must be pursued in order for you to be truly happy. His end is holiness and He will use all things in a life devoted to Him to fulfill that end.

To my girls:

Marry a man whose first pursuit is Christ. After that, he is not hard to please. Admire him, cheer him on and show gratitude, and he will fall over himself trying to please you. Smile often, speak well of him always, and do whatever necessary to try and maintain a pleasant mood about you so that it transfers to your home, making it a place where he and your children love to be.

You’ll have bad days of course, crying days even, and that’s when you go to your bedroom, kneel on the floor and beg the Lord to carry you. Then get up, get a fresh perspective (crayons will come off the wall), and try again. Above all else, make a home.

To my boys:

Marry a woman whose first pursuit is Christ. After that, she may be hard to please ;-) only if you don’t know “the secret”. What is that? I’m glad you asked. The secret to pleasing your wife is to make her feel safe and treasured. You may have to move out of your comfort zone to do this at times. She won’t always readily translate the oil change to love, though it means that. But let me give you a “secret question”—a question you need to ask her often. It’s not just in the asking, though. Be sure to focus your eyes on hers, maybe even touch her shoulder or face, and then ask: “What’s on your mind these days?” And then be ready to listen. She wants you to draw her out. She will perceive this as your protection over the matters of her heart. Tenderness, listening, protection. That’s what she wants.

To you all:

If your wife or husband does something really stupid, forgive. If they do it again, forgive again. Forgiveness must be the propelling force in your lives each day. Dwell on the strengths, push out thoughts of their weaknesses. Take every thought captive—choose to love.

Here’s that part you are not going to hear often:

If you find yourself “not happy,” having lost attraction, disinterested, etc., you are not permitted to even think about a divorce. If you find yourselves arguing more and more, don’t think for a minute that “the children will be better off out of this,” because they won’t.

The vows you took on your wedding day were not suggestions. They were covenant vows, before a holy God, family and friends, to stay with this person the rest of your life, even if you don’t feel like it. You swore a solemn oath and if you can’t live up to it, don’t get married. Decide up front that your marriage is irrevocable. There is far more motivation for getting along if your “marriage house” has no door.

Do not share intimate thoughts or feelings with anyone of the opposite sex. Do not find yourself alone for any length of time with such either.

Divorce is not a “private option.” It will affect multiple families for many generations. When you “separate what God has joined” you permanently injure far more than just yourself.

Guard your marriage as fiercely as you would guard your own life. Treat your spouse as an extension of your flesh, just as God sees you. Treat your spouse like other family members. You know, “you gotta love ‘em, they’re the only family you’ve got.”

I want you to be happy, I surely do. But I will pray for you to be holy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

blank noodles

"in character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity"
---henry wadsworth longfellow

my daughter piper doesn't like red sauce. on anything. she used to, and here is the photographic evidence.

now, having said that, she once got the stomach flu after eating spaghetti, and is convinced that she doesn't like red sauce. moreover, she's convinced it will make her sick.

the actual conversation on the way to school this morning was as follows:

piper: mommy, did you know that when they have spaghetti at school, sometimes you can ask for the red sauce on the side?
me: you can?
piper: yes, and then you can just eat the noodles blank.
me: do you like the blank noodles?
piper: yes, blank noodles are the best.

i am typically a very upbeat and perky person. but there are some days that just going through the motions is exhausting. overwhelming, almost.

there are days that instead of having spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese, blank noodles are best. when the bare minimum is better than extravagance. when we realize that we will muddle through and tomorrow may be the day for sparkles and glitter, but for today, solid colors are better. simplicity rather than complexity.

i enjoy the complex. i enjoy all the patterns in the fabric of life. and i love the flavors of all different sauces on my pasta.

but today is a blank-noodles kind of day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

i will not keep quiet

i am really really fortunate to have a church i love. i mean, really fortunate. i feel like i've spent my entire life just waiting to get to this church, and to this point in my life.

piper and i go to the evening service lots of times. it's still the divine service, which i love, because i crave the ceremony of it all. the bells, the organ, communion on the altar, meeting in the narthex before and after service. i love it. and we sit in the closest pew to the altar that we can, because not only do i feel more engaged, i think piper is more engaged as well. piper and dade alternate weekends because i just don't think i'm up for taking two kids to divine service where you have to be quiet for more than 15 minutes without some kind of noise-making toy.
on the way to church last night, we were looking at the sky. i was telling her what my dad used to tell me...that even if she were the only person on earth, God would still make an amazingly beautiful sunset, just for her, because He loves her so much. and then, being the analytical 5 year old that she is, she proceeded to ask how she would have money if she was the only person on the planet. um, because God would give you some?
last night's service was a study on two verses from Isaiah. it was amazing, and the thing that i love most about our church is that no matter which of the three pastors is preaching, the message always rings true to something that i have going on in my life at the current time. it always makes me think.

"For Zion's sake, I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem's sake I will not keep quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch." --Isaiah 62:1

"For a long time, I have kept silent, I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out. I gasp and pant." --Isaiah 42:14

pastor was talking about the way that we as people are more content to connect over small talk than to really discuss the guts of our lives...our faith, our beliefs, and that if we really would just speak to one another about the good news and the miracles that He has worked in our lives, it would be not only easier to find camaraderie amongst each other, but it would not feel so difficult to believe.

the things that occurred in my life during college, medical school, and the first part of residency scared the absolute optimist in me. i was an eternal optimist before all of that. i allowed that part of me to be hidden, shadowed, left in secret and shame, because of the ways that i felt. grief for things lost. guilt for things said/done or not said/not done. and an overwhelming responsibility that somehow, someway all of this was my fault. didn't matter what it was my fault. i'm sorry became the most common words to come from my mouth. most times, i didn't even know what it was i was apologizing for.

and then i go to church. and i realize that in the time that i've spent in church, i have not only become happier, but i have been able to find that old part of myself that feels optimistic. how can i not be optimistic when i look at things from the other side? sure, maybe i lost my mom on earth, but she's already waiting for me in heaven! of course, jay and i had our hard times, but i know darn sure that our relationship is stronger now than it ever would have been had we not gone through what we did. He knew this all!
and while there are times that i miss things from years ago...more fun, less work, etc...i wouldn't trade a single second of my life now for an hour of things back then. i'm happy in my faith. i'm happy and relieved and reliquishing all the responsibility. because the truth is that while i have free will to make decisions, i can't take the ultimate responsibility because it's not my role. my role is to do the best with what i have and to make the best of what i've been given, and to take my energy and put it into something family, my faith. i'm becoming an optimist again. it's awfully tough to be a pessimist when i'm surrounded by daily examples of God's grace. the truth is, these things i've been blessed with bring me so much more happiness than i ever thought was possible in my religiousless life of debauchery.
the relief of not having all the responsibility doesn't make me any less vigilant about my decisions. in fact, it makes me want to shout at the top of my lungs how wonderful it is to know God's love, to know that i've got someone behind me, cheering for me, rooting for me, picking me up when i fall, carrying me when i can't walk, and dancing beside me when i succeed.
and i won't keep quiet. i did that for too long. i will talk about this, i will share this with my children, my family. i want them to know the joy that i feel.
like i've got someone on my side, saying, "relax, bec, i got this."

Saturday, February 11, 2012


i am no stranger to swear words. believe me, i have said my share in my day. with the kids being literal sponges, though, i have tried to curb myself to a point. there are still some words that escape my mouth during times of frustration...but i have to give myself a little wiggle room because i am a work in progress.

since my faith has begun to grow, i have also been trying to refrain from gossiping about other people. i will chat with someone about someone if 1) i would say the same thing to their face (or already have), and/or 2) it's only to inform someone about the facts of their life.

however, i'm struggling with someone bearing false testimony against me. i'm having a really hard time right now with not-losing-my-temper-and-telling-this-person-to-kiss-my-butt.

a person that is part of our extended family by marriage has been talking about me in an untrue manner. not even just in a mean way, although that is occurring also. but he is saying very mean-spirited and untrue things. i am being called manipulative, mean, a poor parent, etc.

this person is a person that has had quite a few life events pertaining to my career (medicine and health), for which i have helped him in many ways in the recent past. he is a family member that has leaned on us for advice, for help, for various other things that we gladly do, because he is family. that is what family does!

but i'm unclear on where to proceed from here. i have looked to myself, to see if there is truth to what he is saying. i don't consider myself manipulative. do i like to get my own way? well sure! i'm stubborn and tenacious and, at times, audacious. but i don't sit around in the evenings, twisting my figurative mustache and trying to figure ways that i can make people do my bidding and calling. am i a poor parent? i hope not. yes, my husband and i are on the strict side and ask that our kids behaving politely and that they are rightfully and proportionately punished for things done wrong, but they are also proportionately rewarded for the things done well, and things done without asking.

the problem is that i believe all of this to the depth of my soul. Hubs believes it. and the problem becomes what do we do as far as the children are concerned? i don't believe that the children should be around this person for a few reasons...number one being that i don't feel that at the ages of 3 and 5 they should be put in a position where they feel they have to defend their mother against what another family member is saying. they are 3 and 5, for goodness sake. i don't feel it's right that someone be around them that is going to be putting down their mother. they shouldn't be put in that position. number two is that i don't feel great about having my kids around someone that is supposed to be their role model, letting them believe that it's okay to speak about a person that way without confronting that person. spreading infectious thoughts without going to the source. i just don't believe that is a proper way to behave, especially as an adult.

i have a thick skin, and the things this person is saying about me doesn't bother me insomuch as i don't believe him...and i respect the fact that he can have his own opinion and he doesn't have to like me at all. it doesn't truly matter what anyone else thinks of me except my children, my husband, and my God. i know that. it doesn't bother me that he is saying these things except i don't know what to do about my children. this person is a prominent figure in their lives, and this leaves me feeling that i have to pick and choose. and i don't like being backed into a corner.

i can forgive and forget. if this person said nothing like this in the future, i'm not going to hold it against him, and i have already forgiven him for the things said in the past. but it continues to happen, and i'm afraid my children will be in his presence sometime when he decides to have a rant.

what do i do?

Friday, February 10, 2012


i am extremely impatient.

i very rarely can wait to give gifts to people. i can't remember the last time that Hubs got a gift on's almost always before. i do okay with the kids' gifts, but it's really a struggle.

i want results now, i want to see the consequences of actions. i want to see the kids' faces when they open their presents.

sometimes the result is a little...anti-climactic. but, be that as it may, i never lose that spark, that anxiousness of seeing something come to fruition.

this is a really tough thing to deal with when you're, say, delivering a baby.

delivering babies is my all-time, best-thing-ever about my job. i love all parts of my job, but deliveries are the best. educating newly pregnant moms, listening to the heartbeat for the first time, watching as mommies and their bellies grow, seeing men become fathers, answering questions, sometimes at all hours of the day and night, monitoring growth, coaching and cheering through pushing, and finally holding that baby as it takes its first breath is the greatest thing i've ever done in my professional life. however, sometimes, the human body has a will of its own. sometimes, no matter how much medicine we give, or how much coaching we do, that baby will not come until it's darn good and ready.

that was the situation last night. as i raced to the hospital at 12:45am after getting the call that my all-day induction was complete, we pushed. and waited. we coached. and waited. we yawned. and waited. we prayed. and waited. we played tug-of-war with sheets to try to get the baby to turn its head. and waited.

finally, after two and a half hours of pushing, praying, waiting, and deep-breathing, the baby made its appearance. and it was truly, just as magical as if it had come 12 hours earlier.

i know i have to be more patient. i know that. God wants me to. but sometimes, i wonder, why on earth did He make me this impatient?!?

patience is a virtue. and good things come to those who wait. i know. but if those good things are going to come anyway, why can't they just come RIGHT NOW?

my head says that it's because things are supposed to happen in His time, not mine. i'm trying to hold tight to that...that in the end, everything is and whatever comes will be beautiful and magical and miraculous.

impatiens, the pretty kind

Psalm 37:7-9
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

but to me, baby you are the world

anytime i am going through a hard time, it's easy for me to lose sight of reality. shock, right? it's so easy to become so wrapped up in the here-and-now, everything-is-falling-apart that i lose track of the everything-is-okay look-how-good-you've-got-it.

it's almost easy to feel insignificant. self-centered. self-pitying. self-loathing. and guilt comes in. guilt about things not done. guilt about things done poorly. guilt about things turning out badly. miss what-if starts whispering in my ear. miss what-if sounds a lot like my own voice, but she disguises herself to sound like Hubs, like my mom, like my kids. miss what-if drives me crazy. she drives me to insanity. she pops in and starts bugging me when i try to go to sleep. she usually leaves me alone at work. and she usually leaves me alone when i cross-stitch, which is the hobby i have adopted to keep my hands and mind busy during down time. her favorite time to bother me is when i'm driving. if i'm not quick, and i don't rush to turn the radio on as soon as i turn the car on, there she is. like a bad penny (or herpes)...she just keeps coming around.

however, what i'm starting to see is that i am her entire world. without me, she'd have nothing to do. and like those ven diagrams (you know, the ones with the circles that intersect..."liars" on one side, "lawyers" on the other, and the area where they intersect says "politicians"), for too long have i allowed miss what-if and myself to be overlapped. or, too far overlapped. i realize that at no point in time will i ever shut her up, but it would be nice if she had a mute button.

in the past, whenever i've made it through a particularly hard's passing, jay and i going through piper's birth, dad's previous marriage, my sister's previous marriage...people have talked to me and told me how amazed they are by my strength, by the difficult decisions i've had to make, by my ambition to go to medical school and get through residency. when i look back, i don't see it as all that amazing. perhaps because all along, i have known i wasn't doing it alone. i've always had my family to support me, but humanly, sometimes they've been at the root of the trouble. truly, i've always had God there to guide me. to carry me. to hold me. to push me. to numb me. to cleanse me. i was His whole world.
when someone close to me has trouble, or is going through a bad time, i do my very best to make them my world. that's not always possible to the extent that i'd like it to be, but miss what-if comes back to haunt me sometimes about that. i do this even when they're going through a good time, like getting married. they become my whole world, even if just for a little while. i chalk this up to wanting to be a fabulous wife/parent/sister/daughter. sometimes, it makes me a little crazy and takes over my thinking.
however, i sort of think this is what God would want me to do. because i know that i am His whole world. i know, because the Good Book says so, that even if i was the only person on earth, He would still create all these beautiful things...just for me. the skies, the clouds, the rainbows, sephora.
we all deserve to be someone else's world. and everyone is. instead of job titles, we should all have name tags that say it..."jay's wife. piper's mother. dade's mother. bob's daughter. stephanie's sister." and in bold, they should ALL say "God's Child." because each of us is His world.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

losing what i don't deserve

disclaimer: as i was riding in the car today with jay, this song spoke to me. it's by linkin park, titled "burning of the skies," i can't take any credit for the words in bold.

music has always been an escape for me. now, i'm not terribly knowledgable about music, i don't necessarily listen to what is popular. i'm not constantly on the look out for new indie artists. but if i find an artist i like, i typically find a way to mold their music and make it mean something to me. maybe this is what everyone does. maybe i read too much into it. maybe it's my way of struggling to find a common meeting ground between what i'm going through and what others have been through. all i know is that it keeps me from running away from things screaming, or beating my head against the wall. sometimes it makes me laugh, sometimes it makes me cry. sometimes i yell the words, sometimes i just listen. depends on what is going on.

I used the deadwood to make the fire rise
The blood of innocence burning in the skies
I filled my cup with the rising of the sea
And poured it out in an ocean of debris

we all have our demons. all of us. we all have things that have a grip on us, and we all struggle to pry those tight fingers off our arms to rid ourselves of those monsters. we all have secrets, and we all believe that our secrets are the most terrible. even those of us that are extremely open still have a few thoughts in our heads that we don't share with anyone. and no matter how ashamed we are of our own actions or thoughts, there is always someone out there that has done or said worse. i realize that. and whether we know it or not, all of our actions, public or secret, have consequences on those around us. they shape us into the person that we are, and the person we are perceived to be.

Oh I'm swimming in the smoke of bridges I have burned
So don't apologize...I'm losing what I don't deserve
What I don't deserve

there are times, though, that ties have to be cut, that wrongs have to be righted. no matter how difficult, no matter the immediate consequence, there are times when we have to pour salt in the wound in order to get it to heal. there are things we all go through that we don't feel we deserve, things that others do to us that we don't feel are right. there are times when we feel wronged, and we can't see the big picture.

We held our breath when the clouds began to form
But you were lost in the beating of the storm
And in the end we were made to be apart
Like separate chambers of the human heart

there are times in all of our lives when we have to make a decision, where we have to pull ourselves together and get to the bottom of the problem. there are times when we have to swallow our pride and ask for help. there are times when we have to figuratively smack each other in the face and offer a hand to hold so that others can get themselves straight. and those choices may not be understood by other people. but we have to trust that there is a greater plan, there is a forest in spite of the trees. and there are times, sometimes, that we have to cut our losses and expect that we will ruin people's expectations of us. those are the times that i pray for insight. i pray for guidance. and those are the times, that people pray to lose whatever it is they don't deserve.

I'm swimming in the smoke of bridges I have burned
So don't apologize...I'm losing what I don't deserve
What I don't deserve

i've been in this situation before. i've been in worse. i've always come through. the only reason, i think, is my faith in God. i know that He gets me through anything that comes my way. at times, i pray to hear His voice, to have his literal guidance on what to do. i trust that He will see me through. that i'll lose what i don't deserve. that in reality, it won't be a loss, but a huge relief. He puts people in my life that i can lean on, that i can rely on. He made me in such a way that i'm tougher than i look. He gave me a tongue that can be sharp, and that i have to control. He gave me a heart and a way of thinking that means i can conquer any demon or monster in my path. and there is strength in numbers. i know that with my husband and my children, the four of us are like The Incredibles. there isn't anything we can't do together!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

closer to free

one of my favorite blogs talks a lot about the indigo girls song "closer to fine."

however, since reading a blog by glennon the other day, i've had the song "closer to free" in my head...remember it? the theme song to party of five. i loved that show. in fact, i need to find a way to get hold of the seasons so i can watch it again.


i watched the show endlessly, and i still remember the words. and now that i'm older, the words ring a whole lot truer. they mean more. and they really are true.

Everybody wants to live
How they wanna live
And everybody wants to love
Like they wanna love
And everybody wants to be
Closer to Free

Everybody wants respect
Just a little bit
And everybody needs a chance
Once in a while
Everybody wants to be
Closer to Free

Everybody one
Everybody two
Everybody free

Everybody needs to touch
You know now and then
And everybody wants a good good friend
Everybody wants to be
Closer to Free

Everybody wants to live
How they want to live
And everybody wants to love
Who they want to love
And everybody wants to be
Closer to Free
--The BoDeans

we all want to be closer to free. this could be my new theme song.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

rude awakenings

so, this morning, we discovered that the "baby proof" doorknob cover for dade's room is definitely no longer dade-proof.

we discovered this by being awakened by the sounds of the household alarm going off, and the phone ringing with a call from the alarm company.


i never thought that i would be the kind of person that has a home alarm. i mean, i grew up in a relatively safe small town. goodness...we used to leave our doors unlocked. i know, that sounds trite and "good old days"-ish, but it's the truth. (i could start complaining about gas prices and how when i was a senior in high school, a gallon of gas was less than a dollar...but i'll restrain myself.)

however, on december 1, 2007, i realized that real life can be kind of a scary place. i mean, it hit home. jay and i were living in an apartment (the third in our lives together), while i was in my first year of residency. i loved this apartment. i mean, truly. it was conveniently close to the grocery stores, and to dairy queen (um, a girl has to have her priorities!). it was by far the nicest place we had ever lived in. and it was the first place we lived as a married couple.

i woke up that morning at like 430am...walked in to the bathroom. it was a saturday morning. i was set to get up an hour later to get ready to go to work...i was scheduled for a 24 hour shift covering the labor and delivery ward at the hospital. as i walked out of the bathroom, i looked down the hallway and the living room light was on. i thought maybe jay had gotten up and gone out there. i walked down the hallway and found a stranger standing in the living room, holding my work satchel, staring at me.


i started screaming for jay to get up...afraid to turn my back on this thief. the thief stood there, grabbed our camcorder off the kitchen table, and walked out the patio door. jay came flying out the bedroom, handgun in hand, afraid i was being hurt.

from that time on, that apartment was no longer the nicest place we had ever lived. neither jay, nor i, slept well for the rest of the time we lived there. we talked to the leasing office (a fat lot of good that did)...and they ended up letting out of our lease early.

we began looking for a house the very next weekend. i searched online, i searched as i drove. i became obsessed with getting out of that apartment, feeling that i was being watched by the people that broke in. as a side note, the guy that broke in was never found. i know, i was shocked.

we toured homes...about twenty or so, until we found the house we live in now. and we. love. this. house. i said for the first couple of years that we were here that this wouldn't end up being our "forever" house...because our bedroom is upstairs and when i'm old and decrepit i don't want to be climbing those stairs. but honestly, it may become our forever house. this is the house in which we feel safe. this is the house where the kids have been growing up. it's not huge or fancy or brand new...but it's ours.

because of the incident that happened, one of the first things we did was have a home alarm system installed. it's not that i have a lot of physical possessions to's that i have a few irreplaceable possessions that i need protected. kids and a husband will do that to a person. tote was actually found about two months after the initial incident. it was a vera bradley bag that was given to me by a family member when i started residency...a huge tote with lots of pockets to haul around my medical books and equipment and my ever-present snacks (a resident never knows when she'll get her next meal). i had a tag on it with my name and the name of the residency program. it was found along a highway, in ohio, by a state trooper. he so kindly looked up the residency program on the internet, and got ahold of me to return my bag. inside i found a few of the original contents, battered, but there. the bag was muddy and had been in a snow bank. however, after replacing the cardboard bottom and running it through the washer a couple of times, it's no worse for the wear. i still have it. it's a reminder that a little TLC will usually take away the stains.

and that vera bradley bags can withstand theft, snow, being run over by cars, and still look pretty darn good.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

let it snow

i love snow on the weekends. seriously. as long as i don't have to go anywhere.

as of right now, i don't have anywhere to go, unless one of my pregnant patients goes into labor.

the snow makes everything so quiet. have you ever noticed how if you roll your window down just a little when you're driving in the snow, it sounds so different? calm, quiet, muted. and it looks so pure, cozy, magical.

i know, there are a lot of things to dislike about winter. but i love when i can see the beauty of it. snow tells stories. right now, there is a fresh blanket of about 5 or 6 inches out there. just outside our house. i love that every single flake of it is completely unique. that's just plain magical! and i love that there are footprints from the dog. i can see exactly where she was running, when she decided to flip snow with her nose. it can see the past. i just find that so enchanting. snow covers the dead branches and brightens the gray of the skies. it looks sort of hopeful. it hides the blahness of winter and casts a new feeling on everything. it makes the house seem cozier...even though we're not doing anything different than any other winter day, it seems that the comfort we take in one another inside is thicker on days like today. i love that i have seen snow countless times in my life, and there is still such an awe that i take in it. something that settles my heart. something so steady and stable about standing at the window, in my pajamas, cup of coffee in hand, and seeing the sparkle of the blanket that

Isaiah 1:18 "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."