Thursday, May 29, 2014

Things I Learned in May

Hydrangeas belong indoors where they can be admired, not on the side of the house where they are never seen.

Inexpensive, fair trade tea exists. Where? On Amazon, of course!

It's hard to find a bridesmaid dress in the right shade of turquoise that can accommodate an almost full term baby bump and isn't too sweltering hot for an outdoor August wedding. But, we're getting close.

How to make Thai iced coffee at home. Only problem: it's about three times as sweet as I want it to be and uses non-dairy creamer. How can you have cream without dairy? Sounds like fake food to me! Michael and I hope to tweak the recipe to fit our taste. We'll share it when it's ready.

It's nice to be appreciated. I received two thank you notes from two different graduating college seniors expressing their gratitude for little ways I've helped them out this past year. Since most of my time is spent serving a tiny child who is just learning to say, "thank you," it is so refreshing to be appreciated with words.

I can take decent engagement pictures. I felt a little nervous going into my sister's engagement photo shoot on Saturday, but I was really, really pleased with the results.

I felt enormously proud when Grace started saying her first words last fall. I thought my pride was at least partially wrapped up in the fact that she started speaking super early. But, when Grace recently took her first steps, weeks and months after all her baby peers, I felt the same exact feeling well up in me. It amazes me to know that my enormous pride over my toddler has nothing to do with how "advanced" or "behind" she is and everything to do with the fact that she is mine.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Andrea and Jason's Engagement Pictures

I got to do my first engagement photo shoot yesterday! Andrea is my sister, Jason is my soon-to-be brother, and together they make one hilarious and ridiculously in love couple. We had a really fun time being creative and goofy together to get these shots.

Sexy, Andrea. Sexy.

I think we laughed for ten minutes straight when we saw this shot.

What happened when the door was finally closed? The world may never know.


Happy engagement, you two!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Being Obnoxious

I have been reflecting recently on the oh-so-spiritual topic of being obnoxious. I have found three people who pestered others until they were downright obnoxious for the sake of what they believed was right. I would like to be more like them.

Henri Nouwen with one of the residents
of the home for disabled adults.
When Henri Nouwen, a Catholic priest from the Netherlands, was already a prominent author and speaker, he chose to serve in a home in Canada for adults with profound disabilities. When invited as the guest of honor to speak at an important event, he brought one of the home's residents. Upon arriving at the event, he found out that his friend was not invited to attend a banquet because of a fear that his profound disabilities would put off the other guests. Henri refused to attend the dinner without his friend. Since Henri was an honored guest, they had no choice but to give in.

Mother Teresa started her work in the slums of Calcutta by picking up the first dying woman she saw lying in the street and taking her to a clinic to get medical treatment. When the staff refused to admit her, Mother Teresa refused to budge until they admitted and treated the woman.

Jesus told a story about a woman who experienced an unnamed injustice. She approached a judge to get what she needed, but the judge ignored her request, presumably because of her low status as a widow. She pestered the judge by repeatedly bringing him her request until the judge was so annoyed with her that he gave her what she wanted just to get her to leave.
I love this image of the persistent
widow following the judge around!

I would like to always get along with everyone and never ever be viewed as obnoxious. But, my work as an immigration lawyer doesn't allow that. In order to get a necessary document for one of my clients, I called a police officer a few times leaving a message each time. When I received no response, I was ready to give up when my husband reminded me of the story of the persistent widow and challenged me to be more like that. 

So, I put on my obnoxious side by pestering the officer for a few weeks via email, mail, and an embarrassing number of voicemails. I finally got through six weeks ago. The officer told me that the document would be ready by the end of April. In early May, I pestered him again and he said it would be ready in another month. I continue to be annoying so that my client's family can get the legal status that they qualify for so that the daughter can go to college, the father can make a fair wage, and the entire family can live without fear of deportation.

I am learning about letting go of my desire to always be kind and liked. I am learning to, like my three obnoxious heroes, to put my reputation aside for the sake of what I believe is right.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Addie's 18 Month Photos

I cannot overemphasize how much hanging out with other moms helps keep me sane. The weeks where I see other moms a few times, I feel great. The weeks I don't, I get cranky, depressed, impatient, and bored.

I met Claire and her daughter, Addie, at the library this past December. Although we had never met before, it turns out we have a bajillion overlapping friends and networks. She's become one of my go-to mommy friends. We hang out once or twice every week. It's wonderful!

Last week, I took Addie's 18 month pictures. Here are three favorites:

Next photo shoot: My sister's engagement pictures. No pressure!

Sunday, May 4, 2014


We're already halfway! Halfway to welcoming another little girl into our family. Halfway to becoming parents of two and a family of four.

I feel like I've never quite come out of the first trimester exhaustion. Taking care of #2 involves hauling around almost ten extra pounds (plus another pound every week), feeding a large appetite, lots of getting out of breath (cardiac output increased by 50%, blood volume increased by almost 50%, vericose and spider veins popping up), and lots of running to the bathroom. Taking care of #1 involves hauling around an extra 21 pounds, fixing snacks and meals every two or three hours, putting down for naps, putting down for bed, bathing, putting in carseat, taking out of carseat, etc. It's physically taxing, and I sleep hard every night.

Despite the exhaustion, not a day goes by where I don't let out a sigh of gratitude for having two healthy little girls to care for, to tire me out, and to enjoy! Number two is the size of a small melon and I feel her squirming and kicking around in there throughout the day. Every visit to the obstetrician brings nothing but good news of perfect health both for me and the baby. My body is working really hard for something really really good.

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