Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Vermont

I’m back from my blogging sabbatical. Daniel, Madeline, and I returned on Sunday from a restful yet exhausting, beautiful and exhilarating trip to Vermont. The snow was gorgeous. I often wonder why I was born in the south. I despise the hot, humid summers we have in Tennessee, and I feel giddy when we have the occasional cold snap that takes the temperature down to the single digits. I love sweaters, scarves, and our fireplace. Most of all, I love snow. And we saw lots of it while we were there. It had snowed several inches the day that we arrived, and there was a total of about 18 inches on the ground. The drifts were taller than we were. Awesome.

We spent the first few days resting (Madeline and Daniel had both been sick the week before) and doing a little sightseeing. We checked out the little town of Woodstock, VT, went to the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory, went to a cheese making place and a really cool bakery, and just enjoyed being away from home and TOGETHER.

On Wednesday, my parents joined us in Killington, VT. Then Daniel and I got to ski at Killington for three days. Oh. My. Goodness. It was beautiful. And the snow conditions were amazing. And it wasn’t crowded at all. And we didn’t ski the same trail twice in three days of skiing. Yes, it was some great skiing. It was a little on the cold side. But we bundled up and used over a dozen hand warmers, and all but our noses and thumbs stayed nice and warm.

Here are a few photos of our trip:


Madeline was very kind to us on her first plane trip. She never ceases to amaze me. She behaved beautifully despite a very long day of traveling with no naps.



Madeline and dad in the snow on our first day in Vermont.



At the Ben and Jerry’s Factory.



Madeline reading about the inauguration of President Obama. Check out those four precious little teeth.



Here we are on the mountain all bundled up.



Yeah, I told you it was cold. It was so amazing how the snow clung to the trees. I have never seen anything like it. Gorgeous.



Playing in the snow.



Baby’s first snow angel.



Our happy family. :)


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chilly Hike

Here are a couple pics from the hiking trip last week where we almost froze our baby to death. Bless her sweet heart, she hardly complained. I had her dressed in two layers, and I thought she would be just fine snuggled against one of us in the backpack. I underestimated how long the 4 1/2 mile hike would take, how shady it would be, and how much cooler it would get as the afternoon wore on. We all survived, and I was reminded how important it is to always bring an extra layer of clothing for baby.




Check out those little teeth.




Afterward, I was prompted to buy Madeline the warmest, thickest snowsuit that I could find for our trip to Vermont next week. I found an awesome one at a local consignment store with a fur-lined hood and everything. She will be nice and toasty in there no matter what the temperature outside. No more frozen baby.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Stuff

By Daniel -

I have a confession. I'm a stuff-aholic. I love stuff -- preferably stuff that comes with blinking lights, and shiny metal bits. I love shopping for stuff, reading reviews on stuff, and surfing blogs that will introduce me to new stuff I didn't even know I needed.

Here's the rub -- I'm pretty sure God isn't into stuff.

"Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ."

Based on that, I'm also pretty sure Jesus isn't into stuff. Though I like to think he would have had an iPod, I don't think he would have been more interested in gadgets than God. Nothing in this world was more valuable to him than his relationship with the Father. He understood that substituting stuff for God was unthinkable -- not because stuff is bad, just pathetic compared to the glory of God.

And yet, though God offers me this spiritual Filet Mignon, I'm content to chew on my Tijuana Mama pickled sausage, scouring the internet for meaning through stuff. Arggh. Why? I don't know. Habit? Fear? If I'm honest, I think it's because I think that stuff IS as good as a deep relationship with God. I'm satisfied with where I am, thanks. To lead a different life would require change and the change train isn't a ride I'm eager to hop on.

So far.

Recently I have found myself intensely restless. I've been, I don't know, dissatisfied with a life trajectory that I had convinced myself was supposed to be satisfying.

Slowly I am realizing that there is this life that God wants to give me that is so much bigger and better than what I've been living. But to take hold of that life I'm going to have to loosen the death grip I have on the world, its stuff, and the comfort of security.

That scares me and also thrills me.

I don't totally get it yet either. If you happen to stop by our house around bed time tonight you're likely to find me standing at the computer with a toothbrush stuck in my mouth searching for one last bit of gadget news before I go to bed. But I can tell you this: the gadgets, all the stuff I lean on to give meaning to my life, they ain't workin' like they used to. I'm no longer satisfied with sleepwalking through life.

"Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Check It Out

We have forward motion! It’s still not exactly a crawl, but she’s getting there. Until now Madeline has only been able to move backward on her tummy using her arms to push her along. My laptop is what has enticed her to creep forward thus far. It is, without a doubt, her favorite thing to “get into” and worth any amount of effort it takes to get herself there. She loves to push buttons. I let her play with it for just a little while as a reward for all her hard work. Check out this video of her tummy scooting in action. I love the smile at the end that says: “Look what I did, Mom!”


video