like mother like daughter

In honor of my mother’s birthday this week, I’ve compiled a list of ten ways I have become a small version of her.

  1. My favorite place to store things is the trash can.
  2. I can’t walk into the kitchen without picking up the sponge.
  3. I tell Sophia, “You have to make your own fun.”
  4. My house is filled with soft neutrals.
  5. I drive a Honda Odyssey.*
  6. Napping has become impossible, since the minute I lay down a giant to-do list pops into my head and the only option is to get up and get back to work.
  7. I have become very picky about the quality of food I eat.
  8. My toddler is in training to take over many of the household chores. Like, next year.
  9. Boo-boos are met with “Is it bleeding? No? You’re fine.”
  10. I now shop at Talbots and other stores that are friendly to women who are Not Teenagers Anymore.

=)

*In my mind, I used to poke fun at my mother’s driving. She’s known for going a few miles below the speed limit, and never swerving from the right lane even if she ends up behind an old pickup going 35. I now find myself doing the same thing. How could I not?? For one thing, I didn’t take into account that driving a minivan is a whole lot different than zipping around in a Beetle. And the children’s safety is in my hands! So I now also stick to the right lane and let the traffic gallop by.

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three years

Gregory and I celebrated our third anniversary about a week ago {March 6}. Together we’ve had three years, two children, and one house. I have loved him for four years, ever since he asked me to marry him in the spring of 2010.

Fun fact: I’ve been pregnant half the time we’ve been married!

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being challenged

It was only a few weeks ago that our angelic, well-behaved toddler “tested the waters” of defiance by looking at me and saying NO when I asked her to put something away. She stated her point more strongly by tossing the toy on the ground and moving several steps away. I remember the moment clearly because I got a rush of adrenaline. “I have to win this battle!” I thought to myself, shocked at the possibility of losing control of my daughter already, picturing a giant F next to my name as a parent.

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#shabbattable

We have a new tradition for Friday nights – posting a Shabbat table picture on Instagram. I started doing this around the beginning of the year {here’s my first one}, after realizing how much more motivated I am to spend a little extra time + effort on our table if I’m going to share it with friends! And that’s kind of the point of Shabbat anyway… making it special, better than the rest of the week. I realized I needed a push in the right direction when I caught myself using paper napkins one week, because our cloth ones were just “too much trouble” to use! The Sabbath is like a queen among the other days. She deserves a pretty tablecloth, or china dishes, or fresh flowers, or a dessert, or something else that sets her apart. If you have the Instagram app, you can view past photos by searching for the hashtag “shabbattable.” Feel free to add your own!
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a weekly interlude

We are commanded to rest one day out of seven. For men, this is especially significant. My husband works hard the other six days in the week, either at his office or around the house, so the seventh day is distinctive for him.

I was thinking about my “work” the other day. I work at home. Not from home, but at home. This house, and the little people who live here, are my work. As a wife and mother, it’s hard for me to completely set aside the seventh day as a day of rest when many of my responsibilities are no different – changing a dozen diapers, putting food on the table for my family, cleaning up meals, occupying the children, getting out toys/putting away toys… sometimes it doesn’t seem restful, it seems like the daily grind.

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dedication

In Your loving arms we lay this wordless one so new…
The incarnation of our love we dedicate to You.
-Michael Card

Last month we had a dedication service for Zoe with our community, at my parents’ house. I wanted to mention it on here so I could record what we said about Zoe’s name. We have given both of our girls a short explanation of what their name means and why we chose it.

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not one but two

In our family, we’ve found that the test of a father comes with the second child. When we only had one baby, Gregory was involved, but his responsibilities were limited, while my main job was caring for Sophia. I had warned him this would change when Zoe was born, and we’d have to ‘double up,’ each taking one of the girls at times. The transition has been seamless – so amazingly graceful that only when I stop to observe where we are do I realize how my husband has jumped into a new role with enthusiasm. In just the two months Zoe has been alive, Gregory has changed hundreds of Sophia’s diapers… put in countless ponytails and bobby pins… and become an expert at mealtimes, a ready and willing helper when I need a hand in the kitchen. He wakes Sophia up in the morning and gets her ready for bed at night. He’s developed a few new traditions, including a teeth-brushing routine she looks forward to every night.

Bottom line: my husband is a great dad. The leap from one child to two has reinforced our commitment to each other and to our family.

=)