Archive for ‘Family’

July 25, 2015

I Swear This Isn’t Turning into a Wedding Blog…

…but that’s not going to stop me from posting stuff about my wedding, etc.

Don’t worry. Posts about books, the Benedict Option, and the importance of double imputation are forthcoming.

But I want to share three of my favorite memories from my wedding day, which, interestingly enough, both involve tiny children. (My wedding, since it started at 8:30 pm – thanks, Spring Break week – wasn’t exactly small children friendly. Which is weird, for me, but we did what we had to. Planning a wedding in about three and a half months is no mean feat.)

One is the moment my sweet nephew Brad came to the hotel lobby, where I was waiting for my ride to the Perot Museum, and realized the lady in the big white dress was Aunt Lauren. He got his “I KNOW YOU! I LIKE YOU! YAY!” smile and wanted to bury his face in my dress and sit next to me on the bench and just be close. It was the sweetest thing, y’all.

Brad, with Nemo

Brad, with Nemo

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Once we got to the museum, my job was to go to the bottom of the escalators and ride up to the fourth floor for a slow-reveal first look. There were still loads of museum patrons around at that time, and one little girl just couldn’t contain herself as she watched me practically trot down the entrance ramp to the museum lobby.

“Are you a princess?” she asked.

I stopped immediately and bent over.

“Nope, I’m something better than a princess. I’m a bride, and today I get to marry the man I love.”

In other news, I am a total cheeseball. But I hope that little girl remembers that there are things you can be that are more important than whether you’re a princess.

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After we did our first look pictures and some portraits together, we rounded up the whole extended family for family pictures. (We wanted the littles to be able to leave whenever worked best for their various watchers, and to be free to melt down without causing parental angst.) I remembered to ask for a picture of me and Steve with just the nieces and nephews. And y’all, I’m so so so glad I did. It was a sweet moment of stillness, and isn’t this a great picture?

We now have a 4-year-old nephew, a 3-year-old nephew, a 2-year-old nephew, a 10-month-old niece, and a 7-month-old niece. We are rich.

We now have a 4-year-old nephew, a 3-year-old nephew, a 2-year-old nephew, a 10-month-old niece, and a 7-month-old niece. We are rich.

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June 18, 2013

I’ve Found a New Book to Flog

Y’all know how last year I was rather insistent on the marvelousness of Tullian Tchividijian‘s Jesus + Nothing = Everything. I believe I said something to the effect of, “If you read one book this year, let it be this book.” Right? You totally remember that. 

Well, I’m pretty sure Lauren’s 2013 Book of the Year Award will be going to Rosaria Champagne Butterfield‘s The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

Carl Trueman said this about the book:

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I do not agree with everything she says; but I did learn from everything she wrote. It deserves the widest possible readership.

It’s a pretty rare thing for someone to be able to say, about any book, “I did learn from everything she wrote.” I can only hope to one day write that sort of book. Or, heck, that sort of blog post.

Butterfield’s style is unlike that of any other writer I’ve read. She’s writing a memoir, but in a very strongly retrospective voice. We hear her thoughts from a certain time, but also her thoughts about her thoughts, and her thoughts about her thoughts later, and sometimes also her thoughts about her thoughts now. I’m not saying she’s myopic. In fact, the beauty of her story comes in part from the communities that she’s been a part of throughout. We learn a lot about people – many people – who were and are important to her. This little book covers her life from peak of her professional career as an English and Women’s Studies professor at Syracuse through last year sometime, including along the way her incredibly life-disrupting conversion to Christianity, a number of moves, a few dogs, and an incredibly fabulous use of a quote from Jane Eyre.

Incidentally, I hear this was the book that was flogged like crazy at RUF Summer Conference this year. (BEST WEEK OF YOUR LIFE! That was for all you RUFers out there.) It’s a bit heady, but not in the theological language sense; and brilliantly, it’s less than 150 pages. The way Butterfield writes practically begs you to pace yourself and be thoughtful.

There are all kinds of delicious bits, but here is my favorite (at the moment). It comes near the end:

One time, Kent [Butterfield’s husband] was filling a pulpit at a small church in a small town. These places scare me, and for good reason. Knox was asleep on my shoulder and Mary was asleep in the car seat. A man walked up to me, not knowing that I was the preacher’s wife, and said: ‘So, is it chic for white women to adopt black kids these days?’ I took a deep breath and stood up to meet his gaze.

‘Are you a Christian?’ I asked him.

‘Yes, ma’am,’ he replied.

‘Did God save you because it was chic?’ We locked eyes until he dropped his head. He stammered something unintelligible and backed away slowly, seeming to understand that even when the bear does not look like the cubs, the trauma of having one’s head ripped off by a protective mama can be bloody business.” (111-112, emphasis mine, because clearly that is the best part)

[I feel I should clarify that, in the context of the text, Butterfield clearly does not think that she is “saving” kids by adopting them. Adopting children after the same manner in which God adopts us means choosing them, not because they are going to make us “look” a certain way to others, or make us feel better about ourselves, but because of love. This is the same God who “sets the lonely in families” (Psalm 68:6) – and He has principally done that in adopting His people as coheirs with Christ to join the family of the Trinity. Which – think about that for a second – is awesome and crazy and weird.]

It’s really, really good. So read it.

November 5, 2012

Since I Last Wrote…

Spaz thou not, gentle reader. I am still alive. But let me tell you about all the stuff I didn’t tell you about in media res. For quite a lot has happened.

  • After Dr. Six was quite disappointed in how much progress I’d made after 4 weeks, I went back to see the doctor (chiropractor/kinesiologist, not MD) who figured out I had a parasite several years ago, and he deduced that I had TWO strains of Candida, and only one was being treated. He gave me some OTC herbal meds (the same stuff we used to get the parasite out in 2008), and when I saw him two weeks later, he said it was gone. Now I’m just taking the meds for maintenance (to keep them gone).
  • Watching the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates. Great, great fun. Truly.
  • I went on a road trip with my parents (and, for a stretch, with my sister and her adorable baby, who you can coo at here) to a friend’s wedding in NC and to see family in VA. I missed the wedding itself, but it was my sister and parents whose presence was really needed. I hate the timing of some of these bad days. Traveling was very hard on me, but that was expected.
  • My brain has turned back on. Now, it doesn’t work very consistently, and sometimes it’s just flat-out stupid about things, and it still splices and makes up words, but it feels different all the time. And I’m not worried about accidentally making irrational decisions so much anymore.
  • I have started having about 3 – sometimes even 4 – good days a week. That is HUGE. And a good day is not a pain-free day, because those don’t exist, but they are days when the pain and any other debilitating symptoms are minor enough that I can get out of bed and go do things – things like buying this nice ottoman, or tearing out the summer garden, or attending bridal luncheons in Nebo, North Carolina. Unfortunately, the bad days are typically just as bad as ever – quite insufferable, if you ask me.
  • Many of my close friends have been quite busy lately. My cousin had a baby on Saturday; my dear friend Missy and her family got a referral to finally go get their daughter from Ethiopia; another pair of dear friends found out their baby is terminally ill. Friends have gotten engaged. Friends have announced pregnancies. Friends are anticipating babies. And because I’m me, all those things are, to an extent at least, things that warrant a place in my summary.
  • I finished the biggest needlepoint project I have attempted, a rooster with some fancy borders. (A needlepoint-focused post is forthcoming, which, by the way will have lots of pictures and probably some theology in it.)
  • In the past week or so, I have watched an insane amount of period and British dramas – rewatched Downton Abbey Season 2, the 5 hour Pride & Prejudice, and Harry Potter 1-6. Suffice it to say, I am saying things like “insufferable” and “take a proper Sabbath.”

Today I am 28. In my mind, 28 has been a magical age, the age by which I hoped to have accomplished certain goals and been in a certain place in life. To say those hopes have not been realized is certainly true, but this whole health-thing has thrown me off considerably from the trajectory I was on to accomplish a number of my “30 by 30” goals. I aim to use those sorts of things as helps, not hard and fast plans. But I confess I am disappointed, and that maybe I am not so good at refraining from clinging to the things I want. My tendency is to overreact, to not have goals. I am, frankly, scared to think more than very, very hypothetically about what happens after I am well, because I am afraid of being disappointed.

Not that I am all mopey and sad today. Not at all. Just, you know, pensive.

Not a bad thing to be when you’re turning 28.

September 19, 2012

Well this feels weird…

Like I said in my last post, the anti-Candida war has a lot to do with diet. So mine has been in massive upheaval since last Friday. I’m keeping a food journal to try to track what I’m eating when, since I have to spread foods out, especially vegetables. Apparently a person with my condition is very likely to develop new allergies if foods are eaten too frequently. (Of course, that means my trend of eating the same thing for breakfast every day has to go out the window. Also, said breakfast has been a handful of nuts for the past few years, and that has to end too, because nuts you get in the store most often are growing mold already.)

ANYWAY, right now I am drinking a new thing – an enormous smoothie that tastes strongly of parsley and pineapple with a hint of pear and banana. If you like that sort of thing (I happen to LOVE parsley), borrow away.

Pear, Parsley, and Pineapple Smoothie (modified from original here)

  • 4 ripe pears, chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3/4 cup pineapple.
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup ice

Dump it all into a big ole food processor and process away.

So, without hardly any carbs (besides the carbs in, like, oranges and stuff), no caffeine, no Dr Pepper, no sugar, no products with wheat in them (including soy sauce – did you know that has wheat in it?), no vinegar, nothing “aged” like wine or cheese, no dairy but butter (which for some reason is ok), etc., I’ve been a little grouchy. That’s been frustrating for me, and I’m sure for my caretakers/parental units. Thank goodness for carrots.

Thankfully, my parents are the most supportive, helpful human beings on the planet. The latest example: my mother has bent over backward to make food I can eat, even trying some of it with me – like the quinoa chicken soup she made a couple of days ago. It was really good, with a bit of soup. She modified it from a recipe with orzo, but since I can’t have pasta… let’s just say she’s getting good at this.

We’re planning a garden so we can grow some of the vegetables that are particularly in high demand in my diet (like brussel sprouts) or that are particularly prone to being moldy at the grocery store (like lettuce). We’ve already bought a bunch of herb plants, since I can’t eat the herbs you pick up in the grocery store cooking section. (Guess why: mold!)

So if you happen to have any great recipes that have easily modifiable or very simple ingredients, to recommend, leave ’em in the comments!

May 2, 2012

Fun Facts for May 1st

  • My nephew, Brad, was born on Friday, five weeks early. He is adorable and such a trooper. Here is an enormous picture of the little guy (this is my favorite that I snapped of him this weekend). Image
  • I just tried that whole pour-a-beer-on-your-hair-and-let-it-soak thing, and I think it worked. It looks pretty awesome and feels all bouncy and stuff. (Don’t worry, it was an expired beer.)
  • My dog is like a paranoid barometer. She refused to come out of her closet this morning because of the changing air pressure. When it storms, she comes upstairs and hides in my closet. (Of course, she is so dumb that she can’t figure out how to back out of the closet. So she’s stuck there until someone comes home.) She is ridiculously sweet, though.
  • I have recently started an Excel spreadsheet where I am logging outfits as I wear them. The goal is 100 unique outfits by the end of the summer; I’m hoping this exercise forces me to be creative, to use a broader set of items than I have been. Since I am still pretty new to this whole “work clothes” thing, I think I have quickly fallen into a bit of a fashion rut. Here’s to digging myself out of it. I’ll let y’all know how it goes.