Wednesday, March 28, 2012

for your information

As if the excitement of Birthdaversary week isn't enough, this is also the first week of Spring Quarter. This means I am back in school after two weeks of no classes, something I hardly even noticed in the whirlwind that is my life just right now. It didn't help that I spent a good chunk of the break laid up with a staph infection (what the heck, universe?!) or that a couple of my jobs magically produced extra work during that time.

But - all of that is tangential to this post. I am very excited about one of my classes this quarter - Religions of the Book. It is, according to the syllabus, "an introduction to the historical environment and central traditions of the Hebrew Bible, New Testament and Qur’ān." Really, it's a great chance to be in dialogue with all three traditions and there is a ton to learn. 

I'm still not to the point of this post yet, though, but here it is: our professor requires each student to keep a blog while in the class.  This could be intimidating (a couple folks were pretty confused about how to go about it) but I think it's a great idea. I've been in classes that required "journaling" and that was never successful for me. I'd just write the whole thing at the last minute. This will be better, and a great way for me to get thoughts out as we go through. 

I don't expect this to be interesting to anyone who reads here, but if you are interested in reading through my reflections on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as I learn about each - especially Islam which I've had no formal education on - you are invited to! I'll be writing about it at Speaking of Stars, which is the title of a poem by Yakov Azriel, a Jewish poet. The poem is about God's promise to Abraham, a sacred story that all three religions share. Any and all are welcome! (and I'll still be blogging about all the truly important things, like babyteeth and birthdaversaries, here.)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Happy Birthday my love

 It's late on Monday night and the dishwasher is running. Andrew is at work tonight, so he doesn't know that I spent most of my evening coddling an angel food cake into existence. When Andrew and I got engaged his mother pulled me aside and told me that she was not going to buy his converse or his underwear anymore and she wouldn't be baking his birthday cake. That was my job now, and he would be expecting angel food.

photo by Jenny J.
 I've written here every year about my husband, how wonderful he is, and how his birthday kicks off our birthdaversary week. Andrew turns 32 tomorrow which means that on Friday I'll be 34 and a week from today, Monday, our marriage will be seven. Three years ago I posted his baby photos, and two years ago a retrospective of my favorite pictures from his musical career. Last year it was all about Jubilee and his first year as a dad.
 So tonight I went trolling through our photo archives, looking for my favorite photos of Andrew to post here for his birthday. Looking through the year I noticed that there are fewer photos of him that in years past. Fewer photos in general as this year has covered the transition of our J into full fledged toddlerhood, and the arrival of sweet little S. This picture here on the left was taken a day or two before we got the call about her. Andrew wasn't convinced that a second baby was the right choice for us. He was honest about his doubts. But when I called him at work that sunny August afternoon and told him that she was here he just said "Okay. I'm in." And that was that.
The first picture I took on our first morning with S. I can't quite tell you why, but it is one of my favorite photos from that time.

 Something I notice about my favorite photos this year - Andrew's not looking at the camera in any of them. He's a busy guy and his life is full. Mostly it's full of our kids, and I think this is what I love about this year and about the way life with this particular person is turning out. I often find myself pausing in the doorway just to watch the three of them play. I love to hand him the baby when he gets home from work, not because I don't want to hold her but because it feels so good to watch her light up when she sees his face.
photo by Rosemary Wagner
 This is not the most coherant Birthdaversary post I've ever composed. But I want to tell you that while converse and boxer shorts are not difficult to procure, an angel food cake is no easy task. There are all sorts of things that could go wrong, one has to measure two different kinds of sugar and fold in the flour without overmixing and beat the egg whites just enough and do special things to the batter with a metal (why a metal??) spatula and even when it is baked it isn't done because the darn thing needs to be somehow hung upside down without touching the counter for several hours to cool. It is a process, and one that is not exactly fully in my established skill set.

But I love to do it. Because for this guy, who wouldn't?

Happy Birthday Andrew. You have my permission to eat the whole thing in one sitting when you get home.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy to be away and Happy to come home

little person, big bright world
We're back from a gorgeous and relaxing week in Maui and I feel incredibly grateful for it. A few things about the trip and now being back:

  • Vacationing with a set of our parents/the girls' grandparents is the only way to go. Andrew's mom and step-dad are the ones who made this trip happen for us (they own the timeshare) and they are wonderful companions. The girls' loved all the adult attention and we got to do just-us stuff like dinner out, afternoon beach/pool time, and a romantic sunset whale watching cruise that never would have happened otherwise. 
  • Water play all day = awesome naps and bedtimes.
  • I got caught up on all my television and have some serious adoption related posts to write! Expect reflections on Parenthood and Grey's Anatomy adoption themed stuffs soon!
  • S got her first tooth while we were in Maui!
  • It's good to be home.