Friday, May 16, 2014

"When the cops come all I hear is...

...whoop-whoop-whoop." Need for Speed, Petey Pablo.

Hey lovelies,

This is national police week, and I wanted to share a few thoughts my husband, a former State Trooper (still currently working in law enforcement) put together.

Are you ready to be shocked? Police are people. Police are even sinners in need of a Savior. There are bad, selfish, prideful, deceitful, arrogant, alcoholic, thieving, etc. police. But, in my opinion, these are the exceptions to the once-great profession (though it should be thought of as great now, I think).
Have you ever been rude to a customer service representative, waitress, spouse, etc.? Have you ever lied to get your way (with the best intentions or not)? Have you ever been having some personal issues that just put you in a sour mood and made you less effective at work or when dealing with other people? It's justified when it's you, right? 
Everyone has "bad days." However, I think most peoples' bad days don't compare to a cop's bad day. Most people probably don't see a dead body, do a death notification, go to a fatality accident with brains on the concrete, go to a domestic to that one couples' house again, get cussed out by a speeder upset about getting a deserved ticket, see his work ignored in court, and listen to a child describe terrible acts that occurred to him/her (all while knowing the "justice system" will do close to nothing to the perp). And most people don't do this while working some nights, some days, most holidays, etc. while seeing the worst of society at their worst.  
All professions have these bad, selfish, prideful, deceitful, arrogant, alcoholic, thieving, etc. people.  
Unfortunately for law enforcement, our failures are proclaimed louder than most, our mistakes are pointed out more and are too-oftentimes deadly (killing someone wrongfully can both be a mistake and it can be malicious and criminal), and while hating and disrespecting law enforcement in their minds, people also hold law enforcement to a higher standard (which is fair considering the authority we have). Oh, and by the way, if someone dies fleeing from police in a car chase, that's not the police's fault. If someone has a heart attack after being justifiably tased because of their unlawful actions, that's not the police's fault. It's like if a child disobeys his parents and then gets hurt don't many parents say, "If you had listened to what I said this wouldn't have happened..." Also, a quick search online reveals that anywhere from 500 - 1500 people are shot by law enforcement each year (some justified, some not). At the same time, drunk drivers kill 9000 - 15000 people a year so... maybe don't gripe about cops being out stopping cars?  
All that to say, please try to have a little understanding when a cop is rude to you (which most often seems to go along with getting a ticket that... honestly, you deserved, right?). Please try to have a little understanding when a cop makes a split second decision that you can then disagree with using all the time you want in an environment that doesn't threaten your life. Please try to understand that when it gets down to it, you don't want to live in a society where police don't enforce the law, patrol your neighborhoods, chase down law breakers, keep you and others safe by slowing you down, and rescue you when you dial 911. Please remember that cops are doing what most people can't, won't, or don't
want to do. Lastly, remember that the good done by cops day in and day out for the most undeserving, ungrateful public is completely unreported. 
So, if you can this week, pray for law enforcement. Heck, maybe even thank an officer for what he does (it probably won't happen again for a few years if that officer is lucky enough to be thanked again). Don't thank me -- my wife respects what I do and that's enough for me.

I am so proud of my husband for how hard he works to serve and protect. Thank you honey, and all law enforcement out there, for working at a tough job to keep us safe!

Friday, March 21, 2014

"But since I came here felt the joy and the fear...

...finding myself making every possible mistake." New Soul by Yael Naim.

Hello lovelies!

Image via Free Pretty Things For You
Sorry (again!) for the extended absence! We made it safely to our new hometown - thanks for all your prayers and support!

I'm seven weeks out from baby Charlie's due date, and we're in the midst of buying a house, getting all the new insurance/car registration/choosing doctors/etc. that comes with a new move, and my sweet husband is working crazy hours with his new job and doing all the paperwork for the various things listed above (since if I did them at this point I may not even spell my name correctly. Helloooo, pregnancy brain!).

I've got a couple projects going on (ha.) beside the moving and baby stuff, so I'm afraid this blog may have to go on hold a little longer. Rest assured that I will bring you all up to speed once we get back into a regular schedule and a house of our own. :)

Thanks for sticking with me!


Wednesday, February 05, 2014

"I see Jesus riding on a white horse...

...hero calling from the sky." White Horse by Earthsuit.

As Christians we will not get a fair hearing in the public square - or anywhere. Every discipline, from Politics to Science to History to Literature will ignore, disparage, mock, and illogically refute any argument we put up, even in a “fair” debate. 

And that is ok. 

We must continue to speak truth and trust that the Word of the Lord will not return void. We must fight the good fight and realize that we probably won’t draw in swarms of adoring fans, hanging on our every word like the enemy does--though I hate to use the term “enemy;” I would prefer “opposition." Yet an enemy is what he makes of himself, the man who sets himself against Truth, Scripture, Virtue, and all the other things he mocks as irrelevance or ignorance. 

It is easy to be discouraged at this constant barrage. Don’t be.

Even our so-called friends and allies turn on anyone who dares speak out against the wrong and the evil and the lies, whether out of fear, or a desire to be inoffensive (which comes to the same thing) or being mislead or misinformed themselves. These “friends” attack their own without even the consideration they would give the opposition because they consider it housekeeping at best, or cutting out a cancer at worst. 

We try to respond gently, to form our arguments in a winsome and sweet way, and to speak “truth in love” as the saying goes. Our enemies have no such qualms, and the “friends” mentioned above lose any vestige of that when it is “one of our own.” And so we continue to lose the debate, be shoved out of sight, and told to keep our silly, foolish, old-fashioned, weak thoughts to ourselves. 

How comforting to know that God uses the foolish and weak things.

Remember, sons and daughters, we are pilgrims in an unholy land. We are not playing a game, we are not dabbling in an intellectual exercise. This is a battle, in a war, in enemy territory, and it is to the Death. We are not merely discussing hypotheticals and strategy. Though our enemies (and “frienemies”) deny even very struggle in which we are engaged, they lie, for we are in a fight, with real tactics of backstabbing and horror. 

But do not despair, and do not give up. Though there is terror and sorrow and treason and hurt--though we be maimed and torn apart and abandoned by our allies--there is also hope. There is courage. The sun will rise after the dark, and the Great Warrior himself, the Word, the Truth will be on a shining white horse and we will find that by Him we were never abandoned at all, and the battle will be won. 

Take heart and continue to speak truth despite the response. Hearts will be won, and the fight will end in victory. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"I painted stripes on the family cat, broke two teeth only yesterday...

...I'm the angel in the Christmas play." Angel in the Christmas Play by Gayla Peevey.

Apparently our little baby face doesn't think so much of my Christmas list for him, so he wrote a letter to Santa to correct it. :)

Dear Santa
I'm sure you are aware that my mother has sent out "my" list of presents and while the intentions are good, I really am not interested in footy-sleepers or a lightweight travel stroller. I am 14 months old now, and I've been VERY good,  barring a few incidents when I was teething; but no one could hold that against me, right? There are the usual things I'd prefer - wrapping paper and boxes, naturally - but I have a few other things I would really like for Christmas this year which are listed below. Thank you so much, Santa, and Merry Christmas!

1. I would like quality time with THIS cat. She doesn't like me. I can have the other anytime I want, so naturally I am much more interested in this one. 

2. I would love a few of these refillable wall-mounted entertainment devices. For some reason, although there seem to be an endless supply of the white papery things, I am forever thwarted in my attempts to utilize this fascinating device. 

3. Time under here. It's obviously a doorway into Narnia, or my parents wouldn't be so desperate to keep me from it.

4. Open access to this drawer. Obviously it's full of candy.

5. This computer cord, to chew and play with to my heart's content.

6. A selection of these. Not sure what they are, but they are the perfect size to stick my little fingers in that hole. 

7. This Interactive Entertainment System (which is also self-cleaning!). All those little pieces and parts and things to take out and throw on the floor and sort! And yet my parents are forever hoarding the pleasures of this device for themselves. Rude.

8. These. They magically contain people sometimes, I've distinctly heard my dad talking in one and I often hear from a variety of Grandmas, Grandpas, and Aunts. I would like to have my own personal human miniaturization convenience device, but I would also like access to everyone else's whenever I happen to notice one.

9. A crate of these. Do you have any idea how fun it is to take all the separate tissues out and tear them up? Hours of wholesome family fun.

10. Access to this. Again, so many individual pieces, all so shiny, and with convenient cabinet doors that I can already open and close myself. And yet for some reason mom shrieks every time I come near it. 

11. These. Dad's "work" rattle. Not sure why it's so special to him, but you'd think he could share. 

12. Three words: Cords and buttons. Look at all the lovely buttons and delightful cords to push and pull! I know for a fact that some of them cause MOVIES to play on that big screen, and they make fun little beeping noises, too. Also, there's a cool little drawer that goes in and out. What's not to love?

13. This. It's not like anyone else wants it! I just want to go through it and maybe create some original art with whatever is in there. But my parents are forever stifling my creativity in this area. I don't know why. Half the stuff in there came from me anyway.
Thank you so much, Santa, and Merry Christmas!

So there you have it. :P

Sunday, December 01, 2013

"From Atlantic to Pacific...

...Gee, the traffic is terrific." There's No Place Like Home For The Holidays by Perry Como

Hello lovelies!

Baby-boo and his Great-Grampa

Apologies for the extended absence! We have had a full and delightful autumn season with birthdays, anniversaries, family visits, morning sickness, job interviews (everything went well; still waiting to hear a decision!), the holidays beginning, and my sweet offspring getting two new teeth this week and on the verge of walking! He is getting to be such a big little boy, and such a clever child, if I do say so myself. I fear that he will outsmart me before too long.

I have a whole slew of posts I can't WAIT to share with you, among them my DIY advent calendar ESPECIALLY for Mamas with little ones! Naturally it's not completely done yet (um, I got the first two finished so I have two more days to complete the set, right?) and it will only take one more trip to the dollar store plus my sweet husband doing a tiny little spray paint project for me.

On a more personal note, regarding jobs, my husband has had two interviews back in my homeland, and both of them went well, and pending final tests/background checks/supervisor approval we have been told that we might move as soon as Christmas, and definitely (if accepted) by mid-January. Naturally this is thrilling news since we've been apply for jobs and pounding the pavement for over a year, now! Back on the east coast, he also has one definite job lead, with similar holdups pending, and they would be ready for us in April! There's a lot of uncertainties about all of these options, so any prayers you could spare for wisdom and the right job to work out in God's good time would be such a blessing! We would love to move as soon as possible, because the longer we wait, the bigger I get with our new baby...and the harder it will be for me to do anything with the move! (Oh yeah, I did mention that we're expecting again, right? Yup. Due in May. Woohoo!)

With all this indecision and possibilities in then next few weeks or months, it begs the question, to decorate, or not to decorate?

Those of you who know me, know that my year is divided into the usual four seasons: Christmas, post-Christmas, un-Christmas, and pre-Christmas. ;) The possibility of living a year of my life where I don't decorate never even entered my mind! At least we have to go get some mistletoe...and put up one of the little trees...and maybe a garland or two...candles...centerpieces...

And speaking of finding out NEWS, on Friday we will have an ultrasound and find out if this baby is a boy or a girl! Too exciting!!!

I hope your holidays are less in limbo than mine, and you get to slow waaaaaaay down and enjoy the season! But even if you feel as hectic about all the details as I do at present, don't miss all the joy coming your way as we celebrate the birth of the King!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"We're on parade! We're on parade!...

...We are marching, marching through your living room!" The Uninvited Parade by Sandra Boynton.

Hello, lovelies! During this last absence, I've been traveling with family, seeing my brand-new niece, and planning a birthday party for our very own little man! If you are on Facebook you no doubt saw the pictures, but I'm thought I'd post them here as well. Baby-face turned one amidst friends, food, and heaps of lovely presents in our autumn woodland themed party!. :)

Outside decorations and firepit.


See that lucky little boy's pile of presents on the left?

Smores for the fire pit! Also, bug spray.

My amazing mother-in-law did all the cooking, creating every last crazy idea I had!

Party bags!

Party bags had hats, noisemakers, glowstick bracelets, candy, and party poppers.

Dirt pudding! Grandpa gathered all the pinecones and acorns for table decor from our woods! 

I made of list of all the autumny and woodland foods I could think of...and my amazing mother-in-law made all of them, right down to the miniature apple pies!

Hand-dipped caramel apples! (I had to search EVERYWHERE for little apples!)

I was so mad at myself when I saw this in ALL the pictures?!? Also, I forgot to uncover the cupcakes forever! :/

Special cake for baby to smash! Grandmama made loooooovely homemade buttercream frosting.

Birthday boy and Grandpa ("Pop-pop")

<3 nbsp="" td="">
And the party begins!

Gift-opening chaos of happiness!

Me and the kidlet. Amazingly, he LOVED his party hat.

Mummy, Baby, Daddy! 

Ready to blow out his first candle!

First taste of cake!

Sharing with Gem's little girl!

He liked feeding it to her more than eating it himself!

He even got a little birthday kiss from her later!

So, all in all, I think it was a success! The kiddos got put down around 8 (waaaaay past bedtime!) and we grownups enjoyed the firepit and smores. (Babies enjoyed it too, earlier on. My son threw one of his new presents, a light-up ball, into the fire where it promptly exploded. He thought it was pretty cool, so I hope there won't be any psychological damage from that one...)


Friday, September 13, 2013

"When they return, may quiet fill their souls...

...dearest Lord, keep them safe within its walls." Prayer for Home by Fernando Ortega.

Hello, lovelies!

Apologies again for a somewhat lengthy absence; the baby is becoming more mobile and getting into everything! What a joy.

Babyface and I went to Post to eat lunch with Daddy the other day, and he had to run off to answer a call, so we were alone in the conference room for a little while as I finished eating. A detective and friend of ours was working on a case and he came in and started visiting.

We talked about how important it was to be near family, and he asked if we had any leads to possibly moving soon to be nearer ours (we don't presently, but you could pray for that!) and then he asked an interesting question.

"When you guys do move, do you think you'll get to go back to work?"

You have to understand, his wife works full time and they have a baby just three months younger than Jamesy. I know from previous conversations with his wife that they never even really considered her staying home. They have a house payment and she loves her career and they are well-connected to the community here--and it sounds like they have a great setup with daycare, etc. that they really like. I'm glad this works for them, but I can't even imagine it - and I'm inclined to make some self-deprecating comment about how I am not a tough enough woman to work and raise a kid (which I really do believe in a lot of cases--especially the ones where there's no other option--it does take a much stronger woman than me!)

And he made some remark about wasting my degree, to which I said I would consider working after the kids all go off to college, and he joked that there was an awful lot I could forget between now and then. The conversation turned to other channels, and eventually I finished eating and came home. But that part of the conversation stuck in my head.

In fact, the only two responses to those kinds of questions posed to "full-time housewives" that I usually hear are mine kind (a non-committal reference to career options I could have, were I so inclined) or a very righteous indignation at the implied belittling of the role of homemaker (which is how I actually feel when questioned thus, but I don't like getting into it with people who are just trying to make casual conversation.)

I wish I could communicate better a more middle ground - there are careers I am qualified for; I paid big bucks to get those qualifications; it would be entertaining and perhaps fulfilling to pursue those careers; my husband and I have chosen this path; staying full time with my son (and any future kids we may have) is a higher priority in our family than more money or my career; I consider educating my children from 0-18 an excellent and fulfilling utilization of my degree - I think career women are great, I'm proud of my friends who are doing that very thing. But it is not for me.

I could even go so far as to say that being a church lady and homemaker has been my dream all along - but then, I've had many dreams. Spy, actress, event planner, fashion designer, author, politician, adventurer...and some of those have or will come true yet, and some of them will not. And that is life.

But it also brought to mind a quote I've been seeing around lately that is attributed to C.S. Lewis:

The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career.

But of course, the internet being what it is, this quote is a loose replication of what Lewis actually said on the subject:

I think I can understand that feeling about a housewife's work being like that of Sisyphus (who was the stone rolling gentleman). But it is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, miners, cars, government etc exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes? As Dr. Johnson said, "To be happy at home is the end of all human endeavour". (1st to be happy to prepare for being happy in our own real home hereafter: 2nd in the meantime to be happy in our houses.) We wage war in order to have peace, we work in order to have leisure, we produce food in order to eat it. So your job is the one for which all others exist..." (pg. 447, Letters of CS Lewis, 1988 ed.)
And I think that he puts it beautifully. For though there is deeper meaning in many jobs, that deeper meaning still yet goes back to that idea of home...home...home.

And I thought of one particular friend; a hard-working, delightful woman--and when she gets home from her job, she has a darling apartment with a fluffy cat. She cooks herself gourmet dinners and buys fresh flowers at the farmer's market. I just love that!

Anyhow, that's what I've been pondering of late.