Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the day superman taught me how rich we truly are

{Pictures from a totally unrelated but beautiful afternoon recently spent at Champoeg State Park}

I was standing at the sink, doing dishes, and Sam was running around the kitchen in his Superman costume.  He was rambling on {per usual} about this & that as I nodded my head, adding in the occasional "mmhmm" as my mind wandered.

"We are?" he asked, his tone was seeking confirmation on a question that I had just apparently unknowingly answered.

"Are we what?" I asked.


I chuckled.  "Oh, no.  We're not rich," I quickly answered.   Silly boy.  Don't you know that our soon to be family of four lives in a two bedroom townhouse?  That we drive two used cars, both of which are nearly 10 years old.  That our student loans currently far outweigh our assets and only continue to grow.  Oh, no.  We are not rich.

"We're not??" he asked with a look of surprise on his face.  "But look at all this food in your pantry.  We don't have that much food back on my planet," he stated, falling back into his Superman alter ego.

His simple observation stopped me dead in my tracks.  While he spoke of Krypton, a fictitious world, I couldn't help but think that those same words could accurately come from the lips of the majority of people on our planet.

My pantry shelves are a constant menace due to the cereal boxes always creeping into the cracker-designated-zone, and the way the pastas and rice just can't seem to help themselves from spilling over into the canned goods space.  You see, those shelves are always overflowing with food.  We always have enough to eat.  Never do I worry that I won't be able to relieve my child's tiniest twinge of hunger.  But it doesn't stop there...

Silly Christine, don't you know that our family lives in a lovely, warm, safe, two bedroom townhouse?  {My, how quickly you have forgotten the family of six in Honduras that shares a single hammock each night, strung across the dirt floor of their one room home.}  Don't you know that you have two, count them, TWO, reliable, comfortable cars by which you can transport your family?  Don't you know that you and your husband have had the opportunity to live in a country where you can choose your future, where you can borrow money to invest in your education?  Don't you know that you are infinitely richer than the majority of the world?  Don't you know that you shouldn't get too caught up in your first world problems or the first world's definition of richness and wealth {and this is not even touching on the non-monetary aspects of richness}?  Silly Christine, can't you see?

"Oh.  Yes, I guess we are rich."

And with that, he smiled at me, having gotten the answer that he already knew, and scampered off into the living room, his red cape whipping at his ankles.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

turnin' thirty & feeling fine

top: c/o Eve of Eden, jeans: H&M Maternity, shoes: DSW, belt: JC Penney, bracelet: H&M

As I sit here this evening on the cusp of my third decade of life, I can't help but feel surprised.  I anticipated experiencing all types of emotions and thoughts as I waved goodbye forever to my twenties, but joy was one emotion that was noticeably missing from the list.  Oh, those sooooo long anticipated twenties.  I remember it like yesterday, just waiting for the day I would officially no longer be considered a teenager.  I was ready to be a full blown adult.  Right at the stroke of midnight.  Bam.  Adulthood.
Oh twenties, even in all of your naivety you were good to me.
You saw me become so many things, but my two most treasured roles being wife & mama.

Tomorrow, during the quiet hustle and bustle of our morning routine, between my cup of coffee and Sam's cereal growing soggy in the bowl as Sesame Street calls softly from the television, those life changing twenties will slip away and a new chapter will begin.  When I'd previously thought about this transition, I figured I'd most certainly feel saddened as my youth was suddenly forced into the shadows of this milestone. The big 3-0.  Sounds daunting.  Heck, I remember when my own mother turned thirty.  Actually, I was Sam's age at the time.  Will he remember my milestone birthday, I wonder?  Considering he can't seem to figure out if I'm turning 17 or 61, chances are slim. ;)

But truth be told, my heart doesn't hold even the smallest sliver of sadness this evening.  Instead, I can't help but feel grateful.  Grateful that I've had the opportunity to see this third decade.  Sure my skin may crinkle in places that used to lay smooth and dimple in places I'd rather it not, but oh my word you guys, how lucky am I?  Thirty precious years that I've been given the opportunity to grow & learn & live & love on this beautiful earth.  Truly a privilege.

I entered my twenties without much purpose or direction.  Tomorrow I enter my thirties with a joyous overflow of both.

To risk sounding like a Hallmark card:  each day, each year, each decade of life on this earth is a gift to be treasured.  And I am lucky enough to have seen thirty full years of it.

Tomorrow I will be 30 and feeling just fine.

How lucky am I?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

a six month bump

shirt: c/o Eve of Eden, jacket: Black Rivet, jeans: H&M Maternity, shoes: JC Penney

This little babe is growing at mach speed I'm pretty sure.  I'm also pretttty sure I know what mach speed is... if only I'd paid more attention in physics. All physics aside, I can't believe we're hitting the 6 month mark already!  Stuff is getting real, my friends.  Real serious belly lotioning, real serious baby kicks, real serious sciatica, real serious ice cream consumption, and a real serious need for some maternity clothes.  The thing is though, that I kinda hate stocking up on maternity clothes because I know that I'll only be wearing them for a few months.  So, I try to stick to selecting a few versatile basics that I intend to wear over and over again.  This striped top from Eve of Eden falls into this category perfectly.  First off, I'm sucker for stripes, so that one was easy.  Second, I love the ruching on the sides which help to enhance my baby bump, making it more obvious that my belly is indeed due to a baby and not just a few too many beers ;).  Thirdly, quality fabric is important in an item you intend to wear frequently and during pregnancy a nice thick knit with lots of stretch that will surely last through many wears and washes & accommodate a growing belly is key.

I know this top will be on high rotation over the next few months, get used to seeing it :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

and the boy is five

And just like that, in the blink of an eye, my baby boy turned five.

Also, I'm not allowed to call him my baby anymore.

And he doesn't need my cake decorating services any longer either.  Aside from applying the icing & slicing the strawberries {per his request, I might add}, Sam insisted he could do the rest, and indeed he did.  Honestly, I'm pretty certain he has more skill at the age of 5 than I do with a couple of decades of practice under my belt.

Gosh, I love that boy.  and his growing independence.  and his love for all things super hero.  and his dreams to be just like daddy one day--or batman, batman would do too.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

protein packed strawberry vanilla smoothie

We've been in a smoothie kinda mood around here lately and I thought this new favorite was worth sharing. This smoothie makes for an easy & healthy meal replacement on those days you just don't feel like cooking or just a great protein & vitamin packed snack during the day.  With only 5 ingredients it's simple to make and no cutting or chopping needed!  Hallelujah!  Just toss the ingredients all together in the blender and blend until smooth.

Protein Packed Strawberry Vanilla Smoothie
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fat free vanilla soy milk
  • 1 TBSP soy protein powder
  • 1 banana
  • 8 strawberries {I use frozen, but fresh would work as well}
**The entire smoothie contains 15 grams protein and only 307 calories.**

Bottoms up!

Monday, March 10, 2014

pregnancy problems #291

Pregnancy is truly miraculous.


I would never argue against that.  But when people say pregnancy is beautiful I am forced to conclude that either they have never experienced pregnancy or never had the pleasure of living with a pregnant woman.  You see, as your womb accommodates the growing wonder inside, the rest of your body decides to throw a full blown, down on the ground, kicking & screaming in isle 4 of the grocery store, temper tantrum about it.  This is particularly true of the gastrointestinal tract.  That ol' GI tract always was a diva.  It starts with nausea and vomiting.  Then come the food aversions and ridiculous cravings.  Soon to follow comes the bloating, constipation, heart burn and gas--from both ends.  Oh yes.  And it's close friend, the urinary tract shares similar sentiments regarding the new developments within the abdominal cavity.  She often likes sharing her complaints in the middle of the night, requiring frequent mad dashes down the dark hall filled with tiny Lego landmines, as you make it to the bathroom just in the nick of time.

Just yesterday, after returning home following a lovely lunch out with friends, my GI tract decided to make her displeasure known in a mighty way.  The look upon my husbands face, it was as if he was trying to pinpoint the exact moment in time at which his beautiful bride had turned into a caveman.  A few years back I would have been horrified, but instead after 7.5 years of marriage and halfway through pregnancy #2, all I could do was laugh.  And laugh I did. Until I peed my pants {not a whole flood  mind you, but enough to make any 90 year old woman with a hankering toward stress incontinence proud}.  Right there in our townhouse parking lot.  With my husband and son looking on.  Which only made me laugh harder.  "What's wrong with mommy?" I heard Sam ask as I ran, still laughing, towards our door.  I laughed all the way to the bathroom and continued laughing until I cried.  And then laughed some more.

And that right there is the truth of pregnancy.

Terribly awkward?  Yes.
Mostly hilarious?  I'd say so.
Miraculous? Absolutely.
Beautiful? I'll let you be the judge.

Monday, March 3, 2014

name suggestions for baby girl, by sam

  • Darth Vader
  • Black Widow
  • Angela
  • Vimi
  • Coca-cola Lady
  • Snorta
  • Saleesha
  • Sinaorp (written on his napkin during breakfast this morning.  "Mommy, what does that spell?" "Oh, we should name our baby that")
  • Joseph

Choices, choices... :)