Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Grinch

I live in the South, where snowstorms are a big deal. They don’t happen often (thankfully!), people don’t know how to drive in them, and the cities generally aren’t equipped to deal with snow in a timely fashion. So, I understand why they are a big deal.

In Charlotte, even the lightest dusting generally gets school canceled, offices closed, the sidewalks rolled up. :) When I first moved here from Colorado--where snow is a regular occurrence and we didn’t even bother to check if school was canceled until there was 3 feet of snow (seriously)--I couldn’t believe that such a fuss could be made out of a little snowstorm. I laughed...until I drove to the grocery store.

In that trip, I learned that a) people here really cannot drive in snow, and b) they panic and buy up all the milk, eggs, and bread, for fear they will be snowed in for a week. A week in which the only thing they will want to eat, apparently, is french toast.

Having lived here for 15 years now, I get it. Snow is a big deal. Kids of all ages enjoy the novelty of playing in it...and it is pretty.

But, I’m a snow grinch.

I hate the snow. Carolina’s temperate weather was one of the factors that drew me here. The thought of very little snow was appealing. People often say to me, “you must be used to this, growing up in Colorado.” Used to it, yes. Like it, no.

While all my Facebook friends and kiddos are overjoyed about a snow day, I find myself huffing and puffing, feeling about the snow like the green guy in Dr. Seuss’ story does about Christmas. I wish it weren’t here, I wish it would go away. But, in order to stuff it all into a bag with intent on stealing it like he does, I’d have to go out into it. And that’s not gonna happen. Like I said before, I hate snow.

So, snow bunnies, enjoy yourselves. I’ll be holed up inside, next to my fire place, watching my sweet monkeys romp around through the window, boiling water for cocoa for when they come in. And maybe, just maybe, enjoying that...just a tiny bit.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Due Date

January 3, 2011

Dear Matthew,

Today is your due date. And you’re not coming to live with us. Of course you’re not--you were born on July 30th--physically born anyway. Your soul was already with the heart of Jesus. I’ve had five months and four days to get used to the idea that you wouldn’t be coming. But knowing that has done little to make today easy.

I’ve spent most of the last five months thinking, “I’m supposed to be pregnant.” Because if everything had gone as I hoped, prayed, and planned, I would have been pregnant from August through the end of December. And then you would have arrived sometime in the last week or so...just hopefully not on Christmas Day or on your brother’s birthday (January 2nd). I so wanted your birthday to be a special day, all for you.

In the past few days, my grief has turned a corner. I’ve gone from the feeling of “I’m supposed to be pregnant,” to “he’s supposed to be here.” If you ask me, Matthew, you are supposed to be here. And the fact that you aren’t is breaking my heart anew. I’m mourning the fact that you aren’t keeping me up all night feeding, that my body isn’t weak from delivering you, that I’m not changing your diapers 15 times a day. I’m mourning that your sisters and brother aren’t ooh-ing and ah-ing over your every move and facial expression. I’m mourning that I don’t get to see your Daddy cradling you in his arm, while he sings you a song to send you off to sleep. If you ask me, you’re supposed to be here.

But, sweet boy, it isn’t up to me. You aren’t here and you’re not coming. I know you’re in a great place, the better place to be. But I am ever so jealous of Jesus, that he gets to be with you today and I don’t. At least not in the way I want.

So, today I will light your memorial candle and I will remember. I will remember your precious little earthly life and I will miss you. I will remember all that I hoped and dreamed for you. I will remember how much I love you. And I will remember that someday, by God’s grace, I will live with you again, in a time and place where this is all forgotten memory. Until then, Matthew, know that your Mama loves you so very much.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Try a New Recipe per month--Gluten Free Swiss Fondue

New Year's Eve at my house means Fondue Night. For the past five years, J and I have hosted friends for an evening of feasting, reflection, anticipation and fun. We do the whole deal...cheese, veggies with sauces, chocolate--it is yummy AND a great way to ring in the new year! You have to linger over fondue, so it lends itself to great conversation. We love our tradition and our friends with whom we share it!

Since I am gluten-free now, I was on the lookout for a way to make cheese fondue sans flour. I found this recipe for Gluten Free Swiss Fondue. It was delicious and you couldn't tell it was gluten free. Yummy part of a great night!

Read 15 books per year -- 2010

Here are the books I read in 2010 -- not including Goodnight, Moon, Barnyard Dance, That's Not My Dragon, Hello, Tilly, etc. ... :)

I enjoyed and recommend each one.

1) The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
3) A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit
4) A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
5) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

6) Little Bee by Chris Cleave
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
8) The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
9) Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

10) Sex God by Rob Bell

11) Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
12) Eat This Book by Eugene Peterson
13) Persuasion by Jane Austen
14) Work in Progress by Kristin Armstrong
15) Nurture Shock by Po Bryson & Ashley Merryman
16) Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis