Archive for November, 2008

And the winner is…

Casey Zachary!

Casey is one of my male readers (way to represent!). He entered the contest to win the nursing cover for his wife—what a good guy!

Casey was kind enough to provide a little information about himself and his family that I found very interesting and thought you might find it cool too.

He provided a link to his sisters’ blog, nurses who are “kicking butt” in Haiti.

About himself he said:

I am currently a stay at home pops/ part time seminary student. My wife and I live in Seattle where she is completing her residency in internal medicine, after which we plan to head to Haiti and love on some Haitians ourselves… for as long as we both shall live.

I found his family’s interest in Haiti particularly compelling after having read an Associated Press article about Haiti last week. (via Shawnda)

Sometimes when I read articles like this and see pictures of starving children, my reaction is to turn off emotionally, because it just seems like too much—the need is so overwhelming.

I’m thankful to be able to put names and faces to people who are rising to the challenge. It’s inspiring, and it brings me to a place where I can pray, think about how we can be involved, etc.

So congrats, Casey, and God bless you and your family in the work you’re doing!

November 30, 2008 at 12:40 pm 4 comments

What makes it a special Thanksgiving meal for you?

When we have Thanksgiving dinner with my husband’s family, it’s truly a group effort. I love that! No one is attempting to do it all alone, thus creating for herself a crazy, stressful Thanksgiving morning.

Most of the plan revolves around “What things make it a special Thanksgiving meal for you?” And whatever the answer is, that’s what you make!

Abraham’s family (or at least his mother) would live without mashed potatoes at the Thanksgiving meal. Not me. They are a must-eat! So that’s what I’m contributing. My Kitchen Aid mixer will be whirring tomorrow morning while I whip up the creamy goodness.

The Piper boys grew up loving canned cranberry jelly, so that’s always on the table, though Noel always makes some delicious homemade cranberry relish for herself and others who prefer something non-gelatinous. There is always a request for hearty amounts of sweet potatoes with marshmallows, too.

So, I ask you, what makes it a special Thanksgiving meal for you? What are your must-eats?

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe for your chance to win my Thanks-GIVE-ing giveaway! I’ll choose a winner on Friday.

November 26, 2008 at 8:56 am 45 comments

Thanks-GIVE-ing: A giveaway for subscribers

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to do my very first giveaway! I know you’re not really supposed to give gifts for Thanksgiving—it’s more of a Christmas thing—but I want to take the opportunity to thank my readers!

I’m offering one of these lovely nursing covers, made by my friend Jenna from All the Way Home.


I know this won’t be relevant to all of you, but certainly you know someone who is pregnant or nursing, so anyone can win! I’m certainly using mine a lot right now.

Why I love this nursing cover

  • The boning in the top gives you a line of sight to the baby under there.
  • The D-ring clasp lets you adjust it to just the right length so you don’t have to tie it every time.
  • The baby can’t pull or kick it off!
  • It’s reversible!


Incidentally, this one I’m giving away is the exact same fabric that I have, so I’m dubbing it the “Molly” line.

Here’s how to win

1. Subscribe by email or RSS. (If you don’t know what RSS is, my husband can show you. It’s really easy.)
2. Contact me to let me know you’re a subscriber.
3. I’ll draw a winner on BLACK FRIDAY… MWAA-ha-ha-ha!

Bonus Entries!

If you refer a person to this blog and they subscribe, let me know. I’ll enter your name again each time you do it! (I’ll just be trusting you, so play fair. 🙂 )

    November 24, 2008 at 12:44 am 58 comments

    Book Club

    Tonight is the first meeting of my very first book club. I mean, it’s not mine, in that I didn’t start it, but it’s mine in that I’ve read the book and I’m planning to attend and discuss.

    I’ve always been a little intimidated by people who talk about their book club. I’ve always pictured them as people much smarter than me gathering in a wood-paneled library-ish room, maybe dressed in tweed, with herringbone socks and wire-rimmed spectacles. They would throw around words like verisimilitude and polysyndeton and everyone would nod their heads thoughtfully and pretend to understand.

    By the way, I don’t know those words. I Googled “literary terms” and found the two words that were the most obscure to me. For me, reading is more of a gut-level activity. I either like something or I don’t. Something I read either draws me in or it doesn’t. I’m not a very analytical reader. So perhaps this club will be good for me, teaching me how to read differently.

    I’m pretty sure my first book club meeting will not be like I’d pictured, because I already know some of the people in the club, and from what I know of them, they’re not going to be wearing tweed. They might know more about literature than me, and that’s cool. I’m looking forward to hearing other peoples’ ideas and listening to what struck them about the book.

    Most of all, I’m excited for a night out of the house.

    What good novels have you read recently? And if you can’t think of one, it might be time to curl up with a good story.

    November 18, 2008 at 12:21 pm 51 comments

    Beyond Presents, Food, and Endless Events

    I was shocked to see the Christmas stuff out at Costco right after back-to-school was over. Seriously?!?! Does anyone really have their act together enough to be thinking about Christmas in September?

    For our family, the busyness of the season begins this week. Orison’s birthday starts it off tomorrow, and we don’t really take a breath until next year.

    There will be 3 major holidays, 5 birthdays, and 1 milestone wedding anniversary between Friday and mid-January.

    I really want this time of year to be intentional, where we take time to talk and ponder words like Thanksgiving and Advent and Immanuel. I want to feel them somewhere in the middle of my chest.

    I want them to take my breath away.

    I’m excited for the things that make this season busy. I want to stand in awe and joyfully celebrate forty years of my in-laws’ faithfulness to God and each other in marriage. I want to lift my voice to sing “Happy Birthday” multiple times to people I love and then again to sing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” to the God who sent his Son so that I could love them.

    I want these things to land on me in ways that go beyond presents and food and endless events.

    Only God can do this in my heart. Only he can open my eyes to take notice of the beauty around me. Only he can free me from the love of money and consumerism that would numb me. I pray that he does it for me, and for all of you too.

    November 13, 2008 at 8:18 pm 32 comments

    From under the covers I emerge

    Beware of the fall cold. Whatever it takes to avoid it—incessant hand-washing, refusing to shake others’ hands, never leaving your house—do it.

    I started feeling a little achy and tired on Wednesday last week. No big deal, I figured. Then Thursday I had a fever and my head felt like it was in a vice and my throat felt insanely swollen. Started drinking Thera-flu (my cold remedy of choice, but only the lemon flavor).

    I actually went to urgent care on Saturday morning because I saw white patches on my tonsils and freaked out. I thought for sure it was the dreaded strep throat. And I was nervous that I’d give it to Morrow, since we’re kind of hanging out in close quarters on a regular, three-hour basis.

    But the strep test was negative—thank God!

    Basically I just had one heck of a cold. It’s still hanging on, sadly. And it also passed itself onto my immuno-rockstar husband, which was a huge shock. When you have a husband who never gets sick, you know it’s bad when 1. he actually admits that he’s sick and 2. he takes a sick day.

    I think this is the worst sickness I can remember since sophomore year of college, when I got adult croup. I’ll never forget my dear friend Niccole applying ice-cold compresses to my body all through the night while I hallucinated with fever. That’s a serious friend.

    I’m finally emerging and feeling a little better each day. But take my advice here, friends. Arm thyself with hand sanitizer and apply it liberally to you and yours.

    November 12, 2008 at 8:46 pm 22 comments

    Books on stillbirth and miscarriage

    I just finished reading Cookie Magazine’s article highlighting two books about stillbirth and miscarriage.

    The first book is titled An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken. I believe this is an autobiographical memoir of her experience with stillbirth. I just ordered it. I’ll let you know what I think.

    The other book is an anthology of writings titled About What Was Lost: 20 Writers on Miscarriage, Healing, and Hope by Jessica Berger Gross.

    So many women feel isolated in their experiences of losing their child. I believe that reading about the experiences of others gives freedom in your own pain. I’ve had the fortunate blessing of many people knowing about our loss and therefore sharing their stories of loss with me. I’ve been helped by that.

    I still remember the first letter I received from another mother who had experienced a late-term stillbirth. I can’t tell you how much it helped me just to hear that this had happened to someone else—that I hadn’t just been stupid or negligent or irresponsible.

    Our stories provide solidarity. And most all of the women I’ve come into contact with after losing their children need that.

    My favorite line from the article when talking about consolation was this: “What these women consistently yearned for was genuine and brave emotion.”

    Our stories—and our genuine and brave emotions in them—console.

    November 6, 2008 at 12:22 am 22 comments

    Language Lessons on Election Night

    Orison heard a lot of new words yesterday while listening to the coverage on the radio during dinner. He was fascinated by words like “election” and “vote” and “President.” And he always likes it when he hears a word on the radio that he can relate to—”Mom, he said Pennsylvania!” (where my family lives).

    He also heard a new name countless times. He’s been trying to say it all morning. The one that makes me laugh the most is “Gorocko Bama.”

    November 5, 2008 at 10:39 am 19 comments

    Election Results

    Abraham and I flipped through our local channels last night, all the while adjusting our rabbit ears.

    One of the things Abraham mentioned while watching that really struck me after he said it was, “It’s incredible. We’re watching the first African-American become President.”

    It really is incredible.

    Just 41 years ago, there were still laws on the books in many states outlawing black-white intermarriage. Only 41 years ago.

    Regardless of what people might believe politically, it is a historic moment.

    November 4, 2008 at 10:21 pm 26 comments


    Good Monday morning, blog readers!

    Well all this Halloween talk has got me feeling kind of batty (nudge-nudge). I’m glad it’s over.

    We did the Chipotle run on our way out to a bonfire at a friend’s house. We definitely didn’t go all out this year—it was just too rushed. We all sported a tinfoil feather in our hats and that was that. I don’t think they even check because they’re so stinkin’ busy.

    Orison dressed as a lion, and had lots of fun at the bonfire playing with the other kids and taking a tractor ride. Somehow, even without trick-or-treating, we ended up with ridiculous amounts of candy. At this point it’s being used as incentives for taking good naps. We like to call them “blessings” in our house.

    So what’s your plan for getting rid of the candy? I’m really, really trying not to eat copious amounts. Actually, it’s not candy in general. I could do without the Skittles, suckers, etc. But the chocolate… totally my weakness. I would like to eat a whole bag of Snickers in one sitting.

    But… after 18 months of nearly consecutive pregnancy, that’s probably not the best idea.

    Other than Halloween, the weekend was pretty good. Our weather in Minneapolis has been incredible this past week. For it to be November and not wearing coats is pretty much unheard of. We’re just trying to enjoy every bonus day we get at this point.

    I ended up taking a ridiculously long nap on Sunday afternoon, thanks to my wonderful husband and woke up completely disoriented because it was as dark as night outside. Yes, “fall back” totally screwed me up.

    Usually the day after the end of Daylight Savings time (you know, the one where it gets dark at like 4pm???) is one of my least favorite days of the year. It just depresses me. Abraham, on the other hand, loves it. So I’m glad I slept through the painful part, watching the sun sink out of my kitchen windows at 3:30 or something. Eventually I get used to it and I hardly notice anymore, but those first few days are just sad!

    But I woke up to a dinner of Trader Joe’s Mandarin Chicken and rice, thanks again to my industrious husband.

    Now it’s 11:45pm and I’m not tired at all. Can you tell that’s why I’m rambling? Abraham’s offering to read to me out loud from Merriam Webster’s Concise Dictionary of English Usage if that would help (seriously, he reads that). And I should be asleep in about 2 minutes.

    November 3, 2008 at 12:49 am 32 comments

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