Wednesday, January 28, 2009

::Beautiful Response::

I want to share a god-filled response I received to my last post.
It was written by Jay Younts at Shepherd Press Blog.
His words were, indeed, a blessing to me, as I hope they will be to you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

::To say the right thing::

The girl on the bus pointed at her birthmark--the one just below her left eye--and told her she looked stupid.

The soft confession came from my little girl, who was staring at the floor. A groan escaped me and I grabbed my daughter close. And I did exactly what I shouldn't have: I cried. Will it get easier to be strong? Will it get easier to say the right thing in response to pain?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

::Where we're going this weekend::

We had such a wonderful time. There is a feeling of warmth that envelops me when I step into the central lounge. It took me aback as forcefully as it did the first time. My senses never managed to get their fill. Throughout the weekend Aidan and I kept returning, just to curl up on a couch and bask in the comfort of the wood, fire and beauty. The space took on an extra warmth because the Christmas boughs and sparkling lights were still strewn across every balcony from the holidays. Apparently, they were set to come down this coming week. I am so glad we didn't miss them.
Also, perhaps because I am now a mother, I was very aware of the large number of kids that were frolicking about. More often than not their small feet were fitted with fuzzy slippers, or they were still in their crinkled pj's. It was such a good thing to see. And it took the snobbery out of the air. In the evening, as I was tucked against Aidan, wearing my sweatpants and cradling a Latte, I overheard a lady speaking to her girlfriends; "Oh, let's go get into our comfortable clothes and come back. We can have a pyjama party!"
Sequels, are often a disappointment, but this stay surpassed our last experience by far. The sparkling excitement of the honeymoon visit was replaced by a deep-rooted comfort and joy, both in the familiar surrounding we felt we fit in, and in a blessed marriage that has twined us seven years closer together.

Hey, it's been 7 years. . .

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


We did it.
We went and spent more money on a single dinner than we have since our honeymoon.
Oh, but it was worth it! I can still taste it.
The thing about really good food joints is that each bite is intense. Your mouth dances. So, while the plate arrives, and you stare at the tiny, albeit pretty, cluster of food, it is hard to imagine it will fill or satisfy. But it does. There was much groaning, on my part. And much reluctance to finish the last bite and put an end to the experience.

An award winning establishment. In Frommer's words;
Here is proof that residents of the capital are eager to embrace cooking that transcends the routine beef and spaghetti houses that dominated the Ottawa dining scene not long ago.
. . . All that unfairly ignores the service, by a coed team of such polished skill that they surely have undergone rigorous training -- there is no such group in town to equal them.

Here's what we ate, {and I did not hesitate to ask for a detailed explanation of the mysterious descriptions}:

Gnudi: Naked ravioli/ ravioli without the pasta pocket.
Gastrique: Thick sauce made by reduction.
Miso: Thick paste used for sauces or spreads.

Grana Padano: A hard cheese, much like Parmesan.

When we arrived, the hostess took our coats. When we approached our table, she pulled it away from the seat so I could slip in. She pushed it back. She then pulled out Aidan's chair. Aidan's eyes were wide. He knew right then and there the final bill would be astronomical.

We were immediately approached by an immaculate server with a British accent who held one arm behind his back and bowed slightly when he spoke. He departed with our drink orders only to be replaced by a separate server whose only job, as far as I observed, was to offer bread. How do I explain the bread? The choices were french white, whole grain or rosemary. We chose rosemary every time. The crust was crunchy and the flesh was dense and tangy and amazing. A tiny tray of butter was provided; two rosebuds of whipped deliciousness, one of which was caramelized! It was nutty and sweet and I wanted to scoop the leftovers into my wallet for later. I settled for eavesdropping in on the neighbouring diner who asked how it was made.

Caramelized Butter: Warm the butter to liquid and hold the temperature steady, stirring constantly until it turns a golden brown. Move the pan to rest in an ice bath and, once thickened, whip the butter. Yeah-- sounds super easy. The woman who had asked turned to me, "There, now you will have to make it at home!" I replied, "Actually, what I will do is end up with a lot of burnt butter."

Another fabulous tidbit: The chef offers every diner a supplementary amuse-bouche at the beginning and end of the meal. Or first "taste from the kitchen" was a salmon mouse. As we were paying the bill, four spoons arrived yielding a creamy pudding and strawberry reduction on merengue. Bonus!

I was thrilled by the whole experience.
The cherry on top was a long skate on the canal with my husband, sweetened further by a Beaver Tail, of course.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

::Seven Years::

Aidan and I have been married seven years, as of yesterday. It really is a beautiful number. I wonder if I have adopted a love for it because God seems to hold it in such high regard in the scriptures? I don't know. But we have danced our way through these precious days. There have been so few hardships and so many blessings placed at our feet. A glorious beginning to our lives together.

I have heard that those early years are usually the hard ones, as a couple settles into one another. Really? I can't help but view these as the easy years. Or, rather, the lightness-of-heart years. Young children bursting with newness and need for us. Fresh beginnings and a forgiving places to land our mistakes and re-try, re-learn, push forward. Youth. Energy. Eagerness to get up and go. Grabbing the world and shaking out it's treasures.

I look ahead, and refuse to put on those rose-coloured glasses. There are darker times to come. There will be grown children, pushing against their parameters. Why don't they need me anymore? There will be loss and hurt, as people depart or break away. There will be restlessness and unreasonable desires and discontent. There will be a battle between us and our bodies. Beauty fading; aches surfacing. God will teach us things we don't want to learn, and it will hurt.

But today is our day of blessing.

You have placed me in green pastures.
You lead me beside quiet waters.

And David has more words.
Words for those later, harder years aswell. Words that remind us that even our dark days are flooded with the light of hope:

Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Smell

My nose is haunted.
For days now I draw near to the kids toy room and I smell it. It's a rotting food smell. Banana? Curdled milk? Worse? "Have you guys hidden a snack somewhere in here?" They look innocent/clueless. If I didn't know better I would say we had a lump of blue cheese sitting on the window sill, but we are not in the habit of storing our cheese that way.
Aidan and I have moved the couches, scoured the toy room, crawled on our hands and knees sniffing the textiles. No success. The smell is ever-present, but apparently sourceless.
In my state of heightened nasal sensitivity, I am suffering this very cruel affliction with little grace.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


We are expecting our fifth baby.
Our last baby.

I want to share with you some of the honest, and unexpected feelings I have been experiencing with this pregnancy. When I found out a few weeks ago, I was deeply disturbed by the predominance of fear in my heart. I have never before seen that beautiful '+' and felt tension well up inside of me. It's too soon! I don't know if my body can take it! Though this initial reaction ruffled me, I was even more disturbed by the fear that persisted and plagued me in the weeks following. I would test my heart, waiting to feel that jolt of joy that came so readily with my other children, but I wouldn't find it. This was not a good way to live. This had to end. So I stopped waiting and did something about it. I began to pray in a new way.

Since Isaiah's birth, I have been seeking God's face for an answer. Father, is our family complete? Or do you have another child for us? I was in mourning over the possible closing of this chapter of our lives, but unwilling to close it medically before gaining some peace about it. And then the answer came. Yes, there is another. And the beauty of God's response was lost on me for a time while I gave my fears a stage.

I have woken from my stupor to praise him. Your answer came. I will praise you for your 'yes'. And should your 'yes' become a 'no' I will praise you still. There is no room for fear in the life of a Daughter. Should the unthinkable happen, I will not say my God is not a good God.

So, please join our family in rejoicing over this little one. I was given the opportunity to see him this week. Beautiful tiny ten week old baby. I got to hear his tiny heart.
I fell in love and out of fear.