Friday, February 28, 2014

Make the Ordinary Come Alive

By William Martin
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

For Valentine's Day this year I told Joe his present was sushi. He always wants to get some, but I typically stray away from it. Then we went to Is it a website? NO! Is it a terribly named restaurant with the best sushi I have ever had in my life? YES! Seriously, next time you are in Spokane do yourself a favor and go get sushi at We have been raving about it all weekend. We even loved the Tako Yaki (Octopus ball).

The Montana - tuna, salmon, snapper, avocado, cream cheese, crab meat, shrimp tempura, covered in mozzarella.

Harley Davidson Sushi - spicy tuna, crab meat, cucumber, topped with albacore tuna, spicy tuna, crab meat and unagi sauce.
Crunch Sushi - salmon & avocado deep fried in unagi sauce

Delicious deep fried ice cream.

Me and my Valentine's.


I believe in pursuing happiness every chance I get. This not only increases my happiness, but makes me more content with loving the ordinary day to day parts of my life. This is what drove me to watch a documentary like Happy. This award winning documentary interviews the leading scientists in happiness research and allows us to peak inside the lives of people all over the world. While it reiterated many of the things I already knew, I found it very enjoyable and particularly liked the interviews with the motivational speaker and the 100-year-olds in Japan. Go ahead and take a peek at the trailer below: 

"We should really be thinking of happiness as a skill which is no different than learning to play the violin or learning to play golf."

And now I would like to take a moment to find joy in the ordinary. I am grateful for:
  • My wonderful husband whose loving care nourishes my soul daily.
  • 40 degree weather. 40 is the new 60 here in Spokane.
  • Youtube workouts which continue to peak my interest and motivate me to break a sweat.
  • Books. An addiction which gives and takes.
  • New experiences. I was particularly thrilled this week to make my first ever purchase at Sephora. I was always too intimidated to go in before, but I left feeling more beautiful than ever.
  • The Lord's direction in my life. I need it constantly and would be lost without it.
  • My exuberantly beautiful son. I kiss his cheeks daily and cannot imagine that a more heavenly child ever existed. May he grow up slowly.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February 5, 2014: 4 Months!

Four months started out rather roughly. Ezra had a bad cough and cold that never seemed to end. We wondered if it was a dairy allergy (because of some additional symptoms), or if he had asthma or bronchitis. The doctor recommended we use a nebulizer, so Ezra did that for just under two weeks. He hated it. Luckily, his symptoms cleared up and he is nebulizer free these days! We have also been able to successfully reincorporate dairy into my diet! You can imagine how thrilled I was about this.

By the end of the month Ezra was much happier and weighed 15.2 pounds! Some of our main activities/achievements include:

  • Reading Winnie-the-Pooh. We have finished this book and are almost through The House at Pooh Corner.
  • Ezra has started grabbing toys so he can more easily stick them in his mouth.
  • He has started putting himself to sleep in his crib and is no longer swaddled. He loves the freedom of no swaddle, and we often find him sleeping on his side or with his legs through the crib rails since he wiggles around so much now. I have not found him in the same position I put him down in since we nixed the swaddle - usually he is oriented in an entirely different direction.
  • He now fits into 6-month outfits thanks to his long legs and arms. I may have cried when I first put him in one.
  • Sitting with assistance is a favorite and he adores his bumbo.
  • He loves peek-a-boo, hand and belly kisses, and flying like an airplane. I can almost always get him to stop crying by kissing his hands.
One thing Ezra does not put up with is talking while he eats. He does not approve of it being noisy, and if I even chuckle or sing to him he will look up at me with a shocked expression and burst into tears. This has gotten me into trouble on numerous occasions, but for some reason he is usually okay when I have to feed him at church... Besides this he is his smiley, wonderful, belly laughing self which I love and adore. Nothing melts my heart quite like his jubilant smile when I go pick him up from nap time.

Friday, February 7, 2014


I believe a laugh is contagious. I believe children can teach adults about pure unadulterated joy. I believe there is no greater love than the love given unconditionally. I believe in the power of a smile to change everything; my three month-old taught me this.

My first few months of parenthood were filled with feelings of inadequacy. My reality quickly became a medley of blow outs, spit-up, sleep deprivation, crying, mastitis, and discomfort in areas you don’t mention in polite conversation. The sleep deprivation is what got to me. I was easily frustrated and the more frustrated I became the worse I felt as a mother. I felt like a failure because I couldn’t find time to shower or because nursing wasn’t the blissful bonding time I was led to believe it should be. I felt guilty when I got up for the fourth time that night desperately wishing I would not have to nurse him again.

Don’t get me wrong, I unquestionably loved my son, but the parenting blogs and books were too much for me. I researched everything, only to find something else I should have been doing to make sure I was the perfect parent, as if there is such a thing.

Then one cold night as I drudged through the familiar two a.m. diaper routine, I looked down at my son and saw him beaming up at me. His warm toothless grin was accompanied by peals of laughter as he reached up and touched my face. It was all I could do to stop from smothering him with kisses right then and there, and I realized that he was always happy to see me regardless of my outward appearance or the time of day.

As the years go by, I will not remember that most of these days I couldn’t find the time to run a brush through my hair or that the laundry sat untended to for seemingly endless days. What I will remember is holding him close, bouncing him on my knees, endless laughter, and cuddling in the rocking chair while reading Winnie the Pooh.

My son’s smile teaches me optimism, patience, and joy in the journey. I still have a hard time getting enough sleep, and I still get drenched in spit-up from time to time while he eats, but now I smile through it. My situation is the same, but my smile changes everything.