Monday, February 28, 2011

things i love about thunder bay

1) it's usually sunny.  this is awesome, because even if the ground is covered in ice and snow, i can open the curtains, turn up the heat, eat some coconut jelly and pretend i'm in the tropics.  it's really sunny.

2) even though it gets dark unusually early in the winter, it doesn't last long.  already we're not seeing the sun set until 7pm and i love that.

3) our church family is amazing.  we've been so spoiled and loved.  people keep giving us things for the baby - nice things, that we adore.  and they seem as genuinely excited to meet him as we are :D.

4) it's small enough that you can get anywhere you want to go very quickly.  even walking.  believe me, i know ;).

5) cheap rent.  :D  hooray!

6) there are lots of fun things to do outside.  hiking, swimming, climbing, wading ... and even ice slides.  coolest slides ever (although a bit scary/steep/fast in the dark).

7) there is some beautiful scenery.  evidence: photo below.

8) it's in the middle of the country.  that means you should pretty much come visit me no matter where you're going.  i'm central.  ;)

9) patrick's in it.  (no, seriously.  i wouldn't want to be anywhere without him.  he makes life nice, and fun, and wonderful.)

10) sam.  three days til our ray of sunshine is due!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

photo courtesy of 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

the time to listen

listening is such a funny thing. 

in adoption class last night, we watched little vignettes that showed different interactions between kids and their foster parents.  for one of them, we had to figure out what aspects of good listening the foster mom demonstrated.

my first ideas were "she reworded the question," "she used humor to defuse the girl's frustration," and "she told a story that showed she could relate."
but someone else's answer was better.

"she listened."

listening is ... listening.  just plain old opening up your ears to what someone else has to say.  not solving. not relating. not speaking.

just listening.

and the weird thing about listening is that it can be tiring, even though it seems like listeners are doing nothing.  this is recognized - all teachers know that students need breaks.  classes need changes in activities.  it's hard to listen all the time. 

i'm thinking back to a friend of mine who saw me through an emotional sinkhole.  when i needed a shoulder, i called her and talked talked talked.  she listened.  we went for drives.  walks.  drank buckets of coffee.  and she listened.  (she was amazing.  a true, true friend in need.) 

well ... i was rereading Second Mile People today, and was struck by something the author wrote. 
"the Saviour does not need a noisy banging to draw his attention to us.  Such is His love that He cannot forget us a moment of the day or night, and He has even said 'Before they call, I will answer.'"

it's wonderful, isn't it, that the Lord doesn't have office hours?  we don't have to make appointments to meet Him, or be screened by a batch of underlings first.  we can just appeal straight to Him.  His ear is already attuned to our voice - He waits to hear us, He loves to hear us.

strange, strange love!  that He should take the time - any time!  all the time! - to listen.

to us.

patrick picked up our stroller and car seat combo yesterday.  read all about it, here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


hope springs eternal.

this phrase is credited to alexander pope. 
but surely, surely, it's the deep beat of every heart.
from adam and eve, who left their paradise to keep on, keep on, keep on, all the way to down to all their children after them, who inexplicably keep on.  the world turns on hope.

hope is a baby snowsuit hanging in the closet.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

messy bun

i was surfing through some blogs today, and found this recipe (recipe?) for a messy ponytail.  not being the ponytail type, i tried turning it into a messy bun.  here are some low-quality webcam pics of the results.

kind of old-fashioned, simple, and has a lot of shape.  i like it!
let me know how it works for you.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

romans 12:21

be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
i was reading this verse this morning, trying to tune out my neighbours' loud music.

they woke me up at 530 with the irregular beat of modern rap. ugh.  i couldn't get back to sleep.  i tossed and turned until 630, then gave in and got up.  i made some yummy cheese biscuits, and enjoyed too many of them for breakfast.  patrick woke up and left for the men's prayer breakfast at the hall.  i settled in to read my bible, concentrating hard to block out the still-pumping music.

it seemed impossible that they could ramp up the volume, but they did.  i got angrily up from my chair to stare ineffectually out the keyhole.

God tapped me on the shoulder and stared pointedly at me.

hadn't i just read be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good?  (okay, whether or not loud music is evil probably depends on the clock.  in my opinion, eminiem sucks anytime, but 530 on a saturday morning is especially evil ...)

but God was right.  i laughed.  He had just told me what to do in this case, and what was i doing? glaring out the keyhole.  i was being a hearer, but not a do-er. 

it took a while for them to hear my knocking.  i could hear two guys howling drunkenly along with the real slim shady.  i tried to time my raps in between theirs.
one guy came to the door, still adjusting his pants.  "yeah?" he asked, looking at the biscuits warily.

"i'm your neighbour," i said, "i made too many biscuits.  want some?"

he very hesitantly took the plate. 
i hope they like them.
i also hope that God keeps giving me object-lessons that are so obvious.  because i can be pretty thick sometimes, and this one took a minute to sink in.

be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.  :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

this is an intervention

a week ago, i started taking medication to induce lactation.  i'm hoping to breastfeed our little stranger when he makes his way into the world, so i'm popping pills at an astonishing rate and getting set for his arrival.
in some ways, it mimics pregnancy in my body, so i find myself sleepy and weepy late at night.  when i make it to late-at-night.  i'm puttering along, and all of a sudden find myself unable to move, i'm so sleepy.
patrick patiently takes me to bed, tucks me in, and hangs out in the living room until he's tired. 
last night he came into the room and met a crazy person.

i don't remember anything that you will read below.  when i woke up this morning, i had a vague feeling that i had been cranky when he came to bed, but that was it.

he opened our bedroom door, and i sat bolt upright in bed.  what's going on?  what is it?  i demanded, panting, and looking around wildly.
he apologized for disturbing me and said he was just coming to bed.  i threw my leg across his side of the bed and said he wasn't allowed to come to bed.  this is an intervention.  you need to learn you can't keep me up all night.
he laughed, and then patiently explained that i could go to bed as early as i wanted, and could sleep in as late as i wanted, and he really wasn't keeping me up all night.
with that, i rolled over huffily and let my longsuffering husband get into bed.

i cried with laughter when he told me this morning.  this is an intervention?  where does that even come from?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


less than five weeks. 
i can't believe it.  we watched a movie with a baby in it tonight.  the parents were laughing at their own mistakes and trying to learn how to take care of her.  falling head over heels in love with her.  it's killing me to think that will be us - us! - in little more than a month.
i can't wait to see patrick become a dad.  he's so surprising and fun and gentle.  i can't wait to see our baby nestling in his arms, sleeping and trustful. 
patrick is so kind.  and ready to laugh.  and quick to notice things.  i think he will be careful and relaxed.  i think he will be awesome.  i just have this picture in my mind of him bringing our baby in from the cold, unwrapping him from his coat, pulling off his hat.  the baby's hair will be sticking up all over the place, and patrick will smooth it down and kiss the top of his sweet little fluffy head.
it kills me.  i can't wait to watch my smart, thoughtful, friend and husband turn into a dad.

 the glory of children are their fathers.  proverbs 17:6