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Broken Chains


Happy 28th, Mom and Papa!

Twenty-eight years ago tomorrow, my mom and dad married on a hot, hot, August day. Mom was in a long-sleeved, high-necked dress. Papa wore a ruffled ivory long-sleeved shirt under an ivory suit. One of my most favorite pictures of their wedding (they don't have many) is of my dad with his Bozo hair, cigarette in mouth, bending over my mom's train to bustle it. She's half-turned to look at him, her veil blowing in the breeze. Why do I like this picture? It symbolizes (to me, anyway) the sacrifices that marriage requires. Most of us don't go into marriage--or any relationship--thinking of all the ways we want to sacrifice for and serve the other person. We're more interested in what we can get out of the relationship, and how we can get our own needs met. My dad, in this picture, is serving my mom in a way that can't have been very comfortable for him; fixing her clothes in front of many people, including his parents. Men don't usually "get" women's clothing all that easily, and yet he's doing his best. And mom's appreciating it--you can tell by the smile she's wearing.

All that to say that my parents' marriage has taught me a few lessons that I hope I've learned really well. Number one, though, is that marriage must be a selfless union. It requires a servant-heart. My mom, in particular, serves my dad in so many ways that he probably doesn't even realize: for over ten years, while he's worked two jobs, she's brought him a home-cooked meal at work so that he doesn't have to worry about what he's going to eat. And the street works both ways: my dad doesn't like to travel all that much, yet he willingly goes pretty much wherever my mom would like, planning out the eating and sleeping details so she doesn't have to.

I hope and pray that after 28 years of marriage, my kids will be able to look at our marriage and come away with the overriding impression of the necessity of having a selfless, serving attitude, one that is only made possible by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Happy 28th, you guys...here's hoping and praying for 28 more. We love you!


18 Weeks 4 Days

pregnancy due date

Look! Look! Look!

Our house is ALMOST FINISHED!! We take possession on Friday, and move in on Saturday...can you believe it? I barely can. They were rather slow in doing much after the electrical and plumbing was in, but my dear husband managed to "talk" them into hurrying it up a bit, since we only have the apartment until August 31. So we're closing about 2 weeks late, but just in time. And I have pictures!

Behold, the kitchen, where many delicious and nutritious meals will be prepared:

And the dining room chandelier, my most favorite part so far:

And the view from the living room to the front door, in all its soon-to-be-yellow gloriousness:

Last Friday night, after I got back from visiting my family in Michigan, we had to go to Home Depot and pick out lights. Oh my. I was tired. Neil was having a huge allergy attack, sneezing every minute. But we managed to pick out lovely lights, and not spend too much money doing it. And then Saturday we went to another light store and picked out the most beautiful chandelier for the foyer, and that just might be my second most favorite part. We were at the house tonight, and that light was up and operational. Beautiful.

So, before Friday afternoon, they have to grout the ceramic tile, put in a toilet and sink, paint a powder room, put on doors, carpet the stairs and main floor, finish the railing, and finish painting the main floor. Think they can do it? I hope so, 'cause we're moving in on Saturday, finished or not.


My Latest Obsession

Have you ever had an Orange Julius from one of those stands in the mall? Weren't you immediately hooked?

Did you know you can make your own at home?

Yes indeed, my latest obsession is orange julius. My mom used to make them for us as a special bedtime snack once in a while, particularly during the summer. We'd beg for them for a while, and then forget about them until the next summer. Somehow she always had the ingredients on hand (what DOESN'T she have the ingredients on hand for?!). We'd sit out on the patio in our pjs and try to make them last as long as we could, but how can you NOT just suck one of these right down?

So, here's the recipe...if you haven't had an orange julius, try it. You'll be hooked.

Orange Julius
6 oz of frozen concentrated OJ
1 cup of milk
1 cup of water
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Lots of ice

Put the first five ingredients in a blender and blend until...blended. Uh, yeah. Then the key, in my opinion, is to use lots of ice. Most recipes will tell you to use 5-6 ice cubes. Not enough. Load up the blender with ice, and let it do its magic until the ice is pretty well unnoticable and the consistency is more like a thick milkshake than just milk. Half the enjoyment of an orange julius is crunching the bits of ice and getting the contrast of the liquid and solid.