Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Weather Channel Says it (Feels) Like -2...

... and I went outside twice today- kudos to me!!!

The phrase "I need to blog about this" has been increasing in frequency lately so it's time to jot a few things down for all you folks checking in on us. I'm not really good at prose, but I really like categories (and lists, ahhhh lists) so we'll do it that way.

Eden is picking up on language a lot more these days. She is saying less and less- well, ok, that's not entirely fair. She is jabbering a lot, and LOUDLY, but she has decreased the number of words she says that can be found in an English dictionary. Meh- she'll grow out of it. What she is doing is responding to our conversation. Like the other day when she was growling in the kitchen while I stirred dinner and I called her wild thing. She dissapeared around the corner for a few minutes, and I didn't pay much attention (having a small apartment is nice cause I can hear her wherever she goes!). Soon she had trotted back into the kitchen carrying her Wild Things book and adamantly asked that I read to her. How could I refuse!? Dinner just had to wait.
She is also noticing new things about her environment. For instance, she has discovered that some objects are very similar. Today she brought me The Poky Little Puppy from her Golden Books collection (she has 26 golden books!!). After handing it to me she ran back to her room, shuffled through her books for a bit, and then brought me a second copy of The Pocky Little Puppy (which I didn't know we had). She seemed delighted so we compared them for a while.
She is figuring out how everything works. She pushes her step from the couch to the chair and back so she can climb. She can take a dvd out of the box, put it in the dvd player, and turn on the tv (thank goodness she hasn't learned to hit play yet!). She will (sometimes) lay down when asked to use her inhaler. She sometimes brings us a new diaper to tell us she needs changed. AND she is learning her body parts.

I have been fighting off a bad sinus infection, but thanks to some good medical advice (mother-in-law+PA=good stuff) I am feeling much better. Eden was thrilled that the first couple of days this week involved a LOT of television because I was too sick to get off the couch. Adjusting to all the changes has been easier than I expected. Thomas is gone a lot, but after 4 months of constant interaction, it's nice to have something new to talk about at the end of the day! The small home has been such a blessing for me. It takes about 10 minutes to straighten and 30 minutes to deep clean. I have easy access to everything that's necessary and no clutter to distract. Eden is always within earshot and almost always within eyesight and the whole place is very baby proofed. We are part of a great play group on Thursdays, will soon start a Music Together class on Tuesdays, and I will hopefully join a Trinity Wives' Bible study on Mondays. I feel like I'm on the cusp of getting into a creative groove. There are projects lined out (Eden's room makeover, a quilt I started cutting months ago, and gesso just arrived for priming canvases). I'll keep you posted on projects and hopefully offer up some pictures. Oh, and I called it, I don't behave well with lack of sunlight (plus our apartment doesn't have overhead lighting in the living room- seriously!?). It was sunny today, it was wonderful!

Thomas: (as written by Thomas)
I guess I'm still trying to find what a normal day is supposed to look like. Some days I get a lot done at home, some days I have to be at the library, other days my mind decides not to work. It is very frustrating to not know when I am going to have a fruitful day of labor. I miss Timber Framing. I could always predict what I would do on any given day, and I was good at it. In my program I am the newbie, and even though I talk more than anyone in my classes I know my "co-workers" are running mental circles around me. The upside is that the content of my classwork and my homework never ceases to interest me, and often it even stirs my soul. The spiritual climate of the campus is healthy. In my formation group, for instance, a pastor to be's daughter was healed of swine flu. She is living in Singapore while her father is being prepared for ministry. I wish I could say the spiritual climate at my church is healthy, but the truth is we haven't found "the right one." There's just no way to replace the sweet friends we made at the Mission.

That's all folks! Time to get some sleep. Tomorrow is blood work on Eden (don't worry, nothing is wrong) and family trip to the children's museum. Should be a good day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just Pictures

This blog is going to be all about the pictures I've been taking and not posting so I am posting them all at once! Sorry to those of you with slower connections. Enjoy!

Eden using my fabric storage bins as a chair:

Thomas perplexed at the Tex/Mex section, next to the Latin section, in the shop the world section of Jewel. We're quite ethnic around here:

My new cute bags (necessary at Aldi), thanks Anna!:

Celebrating Thomas' birthday by eating Tapas with Chris and Sarah:

Stuffed Mushrooms

Align Center

Puff pastry covered in 6 different types of seafood and saffron sauce:

Align RightOut in the snow:

Playing at Ikea:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


We apologize to all those non-google folk out there who've wanted to comment but couldn't. That issue has been addressed. Comment away! They are good for a cabin-fevered family.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Because we now you're all dying for a fix...

Thanks to the photographic genius of Eden's Aunt Jillian we have some beautiful new pictures to document Eden's childhood. These were snapped about two weeks before we moved and we're ecstatic to have gotten them back so quickly. I had no doubt they'd be amazing and am thrilled to share them with you!

Check out the slideshow:
Check them out on her blog (as well as the rest of her amazing work):

A Fortnight in Chicago

I was so hoping I would not fall into my old blogging habits and post more regularly, but it seems old habits are hard to kick. Of course it's easier when you're forced to give up habits because the ritzy community you just moved to doesn't have a decent coffee shop and the half-decent shop DOESN'T OWN A HIGHCHAIR. Sigh. Java Jacks- I long for your sweet baristas, your eclectic regulars, and yes, even your way too hot coffee and overcooked scones.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, onto the good stuff. Thomas' first week of class is done, although due to weird scheduling, his Wednesday class has not yet met. He only has classes on Wednesday and Thursday leaving the rest of the time to read, read, read, eat, hug Eden, and read some more. I believe the count for pages he has to read this week is 1000+ ! Wednesday is Warfare in the Ancient Near East from 7:15 (am!!)- 12. Thursday is Chapel @ 11, formation group 12-1:30, Old Testament Theology 1:30-6, and Systematic Theology III 6:30-9:30. There is a possibility he will be adding a 1 hour ceramics class to make his schedule full time. As you can tell, his Thursdays are really busy, and this last Thursday was his birthday! Thanks so much for all the well wishers, it meant a lot. I sent him off to his formation group with Banana chocolate chip cake to share- a little worried that he would be embarrassed, feeling as though it was his first day of kindergarten because I was sending him off with goodies for the class. To soften the blow of not getting to do anything together on his birthday I also made him Guinness Milk Chocolate Ice Cream the night before. YUM. Thomas came home very excited and is having a lot of fun recounting class discussions and readings.

Last night we got a babysitter (yes, when you're passing out crazy parent awards remember the time we got a babysitter after living in a place for 2 weeks and meeting said babysitter only twice) and met old Wheaton friends at a Tapas restaurant to celebrate Thomas' 29 years with a bit more style. The food was delicious and the slow pace of eating tapas was really fun.

Sunday morning we visited the Evangelical Free Church. Last Sunday we visited the Church of the Redeemer. We have met a lot of community through both churches and have been received with warm, genuine smiles (and good nurseries). It's a strange business finding a new church, please pray for guidance as we look for our new spiritual home! On our way to church last Sunday, we bumped into a very sweet couple from the apartment building opposite ours. During a brief parking lot conversation, we found out Blaise (husband) started at Trinity's Seminary in August. Upon arriving at the church they were there too! We've touched base a few times and it seems that we have made our first official friends, and they're 20 yards away! If it wasn't for said 1000+ pages of reading we'd be watching a movie right now :).

We have also met our downstairs neighbors. In a great show of southern hospitality we made lemon curd filled cupcakes and delivered them in order to make our introductions. One apartment contains two female trinity students who are also avid babysitters and will most likely become our go to childcare in the future. The other apartment contains the Russians: Vlad (dad), Demetri (son), and Vlad's mom. Demetri was so pleased with his cupcake that a few days later he showed up at our door with his father and a bowl of beliashi (Russian meat pies) that he had asked his grandmother to make for us. Other than the obvious reasons this pleased us (yum) it was so sweet because the trinity girls previously told us they had never met their neighbors in the 1.5 years in this builiding. Score one for southern hospitality! I had to out check out the book Memories from a Russian Kitchen to remember what they were called, which also meant I got to explore the library. It ROCKS. I will post more about that later, but just leave you with the fact that there is a fire pit in the middle of the non-fiction lounge area.

Thanks for reading through such a long post. Hopefully they will become shorter but more frequent!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

All Done!

Drumroll please...... Eden said “all done” at the end of dinner! It was quite shocking. We have used a hand gesture (with which we exclaim “all done”) when Eden is finished eating. A few days ago she started doing the gesture unprompted. Imagine our surprise when she jutted her cheesy little face up at us tonight and clearly said “all done”! It was one of those “we have a genius daughter” moments that makes us look like silly parents :).

And yes, we are “all done” with the apartment. Shocking too, no? Thomas has been such a hard working hero making sure that home is home before he is occupied with school. Of course, there are a few loose ends to take care of (all the boxes on the deck, making curtains for the house, artwork for Eden's room, and a shelf above my desk), but we are very comfy and cozy and baby-proofed again.

Check out our video tour!!

Unpacking a home into an apartment and making it work has taken up most of our first week here, but we have squeezed in a bit of fun. Over the last 48 hours we got almost 10 inches of snow. Thomas took the opportunity to introduce us girls to sledding- FUN!! There is a cozy park with a sweet hill (and an ice skating rink that needs to be explored) about 10 minutes away. We took Eden Thursday night and sled once. She was a little stunned so we spent time playing in the snow, and that she loved! We tried again Friday and after the fourth trip down the hill she had decided the sledding thing might not be for her, but I had decided it was definitely for me. Thanks for all the sweet winter gifts- we have all stayed quite warm and cute. Oh, and there has been pizza. LOTS of pizza. Giordano's AND Lou Malnati's. Trust me, the cold and snow is worth it. And gelato (which we ironically found out was made in Dallas). And last night I got to watch Julie and Julia with my sweet husband (his idea! lucky girl, huh?).

Sunday is our first church visit, Monday is orientation, and Wednesday is the first day of class. Stayed tuned to see how it goes!