Monthly Archives: February 2009

Be careful who you PIX.

PIX I recieved this (SATURDAY) morning at 8:50 AM:

100%  Princess



PIX I sent this morning at 8:51 AM:

100% Wrong Number


Gramama Pushed Him!!

Lydia, playing with her toy phone, runs to me and says: Mommy! You need ta talk to Gramama(my mom) riiiiigh now! Some-fins wong!

Me: Oh, no! What’s wrong?

Lydia: Rit-scherd(my brother, Richard) has a boo-boo on his hay-ed!

Me: Oh, no!! How did he get a boo-boo on his head?

Lydia: Gramama pushed him!

"Lint"en Prayers

This year for lent, I am trying to explore various forms of prayer.  I love the idea of prayer: talking to God, listening to God.  But I’m not very good at it.  Often when I sit down and start to pray, my mind begins to wonder.  Instead of actually praying, I usually end up making a to do list for the day, or wondering what in the world that noise in the playroom was and if I should go be a mediator between Thing One and Thing Two.

I bought a book a few weeks ago called Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth. I’ve read the book and done a few colorful prayers, and it is right up my alley!  It’s really perfect for anyone who likes to doodle.  And after doing one, I feel like I’ve paid more attention than in my usual try-to-put-my-thoughts-into-sentences prayer.  When I’m praying in color, it’s easy for me to focus on one specific thing.  You start out by drawing a shape.  The shape may have some significance(like a heart if you are praying for a newlywed couple, or the shape of a pill if someone is battling an illness) or you can just draw a random shape.  Then you add the name(s) of the person(s) for whom you are praying.  Then you can color it in, and add dots, dashes and lines.  While doing this, try and focus on that person.  Don’t worry about forming coherent thoughts or trying to verbalize a prayer.  Let each penstroke be a prayer.  And then throughout the day, try to visualize the shape you drew for Person A and say a quick prayer for that person.  If you drew a pill shape and then go to take your vitamins, pray for Person B.  It may seem kind of silly to you…I don’t know.  But I’m a visual person, and it helps me.  And its something I can do while my kids are in the room because I zone out(like I’m not able to do while praying “traditionally”).

**Want to try praying in color?  Get the book here!**

This morning I really wanted to do a color prayer.  However, Asa apparently didn’t want me to.  🙂  Although I can do it while the kids are in the room, I can’t do it while I’m holding one of them.  So I strapped him on in my sling and went off to do the laundry, hoping to get back to the color prayer before our playdate this morning.  But as I began to pull the laundry out of the dryer, I thought: Why not make doing laundry into a prayer time?  So as I would pull out Carter’s shirt or Lydia’s pjs, I would pray for each of them.  When I pulled out a pair Marshall’s work pants, I prayed that God would give him wisdom with a particular patient’s issue.  With Asa’s bib, I thanked God that he doesn’t have reflux.  Folding Carter’s socks(which doesn’t take long, I know), I thanked God that eventhough his feet are abnormal, he doesn’t seem to be bothered by that.  And with Lydia’s dress, I prayed for the day when I’d see her in a wedding dress instead of little pink dresses with butterflies.  And I prayed for the person she may one day marry.  Each piece of clothing went like that: one piece of clothing, one quick prayer.

So what today began as a Lenten prayer became a “lint”en prayer.  Without looking for new opportunities to pray, I’m not sure I would have found God in the laundry basket.

Bollywood Fever

Confession:  I love Bollywood movies.

Since I saw Bride & Prejudice back in 2005, I’ve been hooked. Music, dancing, predictable but wonderful love stories.  Really, what’s not to love?  And if you’ve ever looked at Aishwarya Rai’s eyes, you know why you can’t NOT love her!

And now, with the emergence of Slumdog Millionaire(which I’ve been dying to see: hint, hint), it seems the rest of America has caught Bollywood Fever, too.

Valentine’s weekend, Marshall and I were able to attend a Bollywood-esque event.  Well, not really Bollywood, but Hindu.  A friend from residency got married, and we were invited.  I wanted to take many pictures but, clueless about etiquette, I decided I better ask first!.  After getting Hiral’s permission, I took tons!

Here I will post the pictures, along with the description that Hiral had posted on her wedding website. 

The Bharat will assemble at 10:30a.m. outside of the mandhir(temple).  The main wedding event usually is accompanied by the groom arriving with his family/friends in a parade-like procession called a Bharat (baa-raat). The groom usually arrives upon a horse or elephant to the wedding location.

Immediately after the groom has arrived with the Baraat, the groom and bride meet and exchange garlands in the Jaimala ceremony.

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The main part of the wedding starts after the Jaimala ceremony has finished. The groom and the bride sit beside the fire and the priest chants shlokas (hymns) and the groom and the bride exchange vows in front of the gods and goddesses.

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Towards the end of the marriage ceremony, a ritual called Phere (pronounced: Fair-ey, meaning “revolutions”) is performed. In the Phere ritual, a part of the groom’s attire and the bride’s attire are tied together (symbolizing that they are now united) as they go around the ceremonial fire seven times. Each round about the fire symbolizes a part of life. The bride leads in the first four rounds while the last three are led by the groom.

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Sometime during the ceremony, the groom puts a little sindoor (red powder) in the parting of the bride’s hair and puts a mangalsutra (necklace) around her neck. These tasks symbolize that she is now a married woman and are to be worn for the rest of her life.

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And, finally, just a few pictures of the beautiful and intricate mehndi/henna tattoo art work on Hiral’s hands and feet.  (Click on picture to enlarge.)

hiral48 hiral47



Do I look that old??

You’re all aware of my fascination with Facebook.  Love it, love it, love it!  It’s a lot of fun to see what people from high school and college are doing these days.  People live in exciting places, have had kids, have cool jobs…whatever.  Even if people are still doing what they were doing when we graduated, it’s fun to see them.

But the other day I added a friend from high school who looked awful.  (If you’re a friend from high school reading this now, don’t worry…it’s not you.  This person would probably never read my blog, at least I know that she’s never commented on here.)  She hadn’t gained that much weight, which isn’t a surprise because she’s always been slender.  But she had more wrinkles than she should have at the tender age of 30.  Her eyes looked tired and old.  And her smile, which I remember not as radiant but simply happy, was dull.   Looking at her picture, I wondered: Do we all look that old?  Or has something happened to her that left her worn-down and weary? 

My 30th birthday is coming up this summer.  Marshall just had his.  Apparently it’s a big deal.  I’m just not sure why.  I guess in the past 30 was mid-life.  Not so much anymore.  For most of us, at least.  I’m also aware that I’m married and I have kids.  Many of my friends aren’t married and don’t have kids.  They want both of those things.  And I think that, for whatever reason, 30 seems like a deadline they missed or are about to miss.  (I don’t agree, by the way.)

Apparently a lot of people make “To Do Before 30” lists.  Google it if you don’t believe me.  There’s even a book devoted to it.  Scanning other “30 by 30” lists I found online, I seem to have a lot of these down:  married, kids, own a home, traveled to Europe, performed on stage, climbed a mountian(if the mountain at Camp Pinnicle counts!), made cookies from scratch, had plastic surgery(peaked your curiosity on that one, huh?), fired a gun, know how to fold a fitted sheet(thank you, Martha Stewart), take good pictures, sew on a button…

I however have not or cannot keep a plant alive for more than a year, parallel park worth a crap, published a book, learned HTML and CSS, owned a Wii(boo-hoo), or cleaned my house and kept it clean.

So…there is no list. (Maybe I’ll make a bucket list.  That movie was pretty good.)  But I do hope that by my 30th birthday I am happy(check) and I have made somebody else happy(check…I think!).  Of course it’d be nice to lose a little weight, but I have a feeling that may be on many other “To Do” lists for years to come.  🙂

About "me"me

My friend(and BlogHer ’09 roomie) over at citystreams posted a meme that I thought was kind of fun. It’s not a typical form-type questionnaire; instead it’s made up of questions custom-written for you.  It all started from the Immoral Matirarch, but each person writes new questions for the next person.  After reading citystreams’, I decided to do it, too.

Here are the questions she posed to me and my responses. I’m not going to “tag” anybody, but if you want to do this just let me know! 🙂

 1. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what time period would you pick and what would you say to yourself?

I “skipped” my senior year of high school and went to a local college to finish my high school credits.  I don’t regret that at all.  What I do regret is that I didn’t take the opportunities I had to study abroad while I was there.  I was young and too scared to be away from home.  I’d like to go back and say to myself: “You are stronger and more capable than you think you are.  Give yourself a little more credit.  Believe in yourself.”

2. A rich uncle dies and specifies in his will that he wants to make a one million dollar donation to the charity of your choice in your honor. (You can’t be the charity! ;o) That’s all that he’s left you. Who would you give the money to and how would you feel about it?

I love, love, love to give to charities(sometimes to a fault, Marshall might say! :-)). But seriously I’d like to have enough money to pay off somebody’s hospital bill in full or tip a waitress $1000 or something like that.  But I’d rather it be anonymous, I think.  I’d love to hide and see the waitress’ face when she gets to the cash register or the guy’s face when he opens his hospital bill only to find a ZERO balance.  I’m a big fan of “random acts of kindness”! 

But picking a specific charity…that’s hard!  I’d really like to spread it around.  My home church could well benefit, as would our church in Augusta.  They are both mission-minded churches who are active locally and globally.  I’d also probably give to Heifer International, an organization that gives animals to people all over the world who are in need.  As the website states, Heifer helps “millions of impoverished families acquire and raise animals, and then…pass on the gift of their new skills and offspring to neighbors in need.”

Even if you don’t have million dollars, it’s still fun to pay for the meal of the car behind you at Zaxby’s or even do something simple like leave a snack and coke out for the mailman on a hot summer day. 

3. How has your faith changed since you were a college student?

The main difference between “the college me” and the “new me” is my kids.  Having kids, for me at least, gave me a fuller understanding of the love God has for all of his children.  Being a parent has taught me that no matter how many children you have, you love them all uniquely; that different children respond differently to the same situation; and that you can’t treat all of your children the same way.  Separate, but equal and all that jazz.

I believe that God really loves Joe Schmoe, Wang Lei Chei and Maneesh Sharma as much as he loves me.  Because he loves us all and because we are all unique and molded by our families and cultures, God will reach out to each of us in a different way-whichever way we will best be able to form a relationship with him.  I do believe that Jesus died on the cross to allow me to have direct, un-diluted contact with God, but I do not believe that Christianity is the only route to God.

I’m sure there are many people out there who could have stated this better than I just did.  Google it…I’m sure it’s out there somewhere!

4. What single thing do you hope to impart to your children?

These are really hard questions, citystreams!  I’m going all church-y again on my answer: Love.  Whether you’re “reglious” or not, I’m sure you’ve heard 1 Corinthians 13 at one wedding or another.  If we love the way we were created to love(or even a percentage of the way we were created to love), this world would be a much different place.  Imagine if we were never rude or self-centered, and always full of hope and perseverance(within our own life and the lives of others).  Imagine a world where the only raised voices were those of children playing and laughter, and where when you made a mistake people rushed to help you correct it instead of yelling, cursing or talking poorly of you.  As 1 Peter 4:8 would read if I’d translated the bible: If you don’t remember anything else, remeber to LOVE…because love is the cure for a lot of crap.

5. If you and Marshall ever decided to move out of the states, where do you think you would live and why?

This one’s easy for me…although I’m not sure about how Marshall would like it(I think he would): somewhere in Great Britain.  I went to London and some surrounding areas with my grandmother, Mama Jo, when I was 16.  It was amazing, and I fell head-over-heels in love with it then.  (London was one of the study-abroad opportunities I had and didn’t take.)  I’d love to go live somewhere far enough from a city that you can see stars in the dark night sky, yet close enough to get some good shopping!  🙂 

Calling All Ivy Leaguers…

On my “dashboard”, I can get a snapshot view of who has visited this website.   I can see who clicked in from facebook and whether or not they clicked from my account or Marshall’s.  I can see who came here via other sites who have links to mine like Peapod Squad Stuff and Citystreams.  And I can also see what search engine terms were typed in that lead people to my site. 

One of the most common terms used is, obviously, “ivey league”.  But it’s very often followed by “schools”, “colleges”, “average class size”, or something to that effect.

Is it just me or do you think that someone searching for information on Ivy League institutions should know how to spell “IVY”??

'Tis the season…

…for coughing and wheezing and headaches and fevers. And we”ve had them all!

I thought we’d been sick for a while.  I knew for a fact that I got sick while I was in Augusta last time and hadn’t been well since.  But I went back to look at something on my calendar and realized that all this hacking and wheezing actually began back on Jan 20th.  Do you realize what that means?  It means that for an ENTIRE month at least one of us has had a sore throat or cough or fever.  Every day for an entire month!  You have GOT to be kidding me.  No wonder I feel like it’s never going to end!  I promise we wash all of our hands frequently.  We drink OJ and take vitamins.  We cover when we cough, and sneeze into our elbow pits.

The most frustrating part about it all is that we’ll go almost a day where nobody seems to have any obvious symtoms.  And then the sun begins to set and we all get snug in our beds and…well, let’s just say that between the baby’s snoring caused by an overly stuffy nose and Lydia’s old-lady-smoker’s cough and Carter’s ever-running nose, I’m amazed anybody sleeps around here!

Poor Teddy.

Today at lunch the kids had Teddy Grahams and Carter was being a typical boy.

Carter:  I’m gonna bite his head off so he can’t see anymore.  (Long pause, apparently savoring the poor teddy’s head.)  And I’m gonna eat his hands so he can’t punch anybody.

Me:  Carter, don’t you think that’s kind of mean?

Carter:  Don’t feel bad for the teddy, Mom.  (Where did “mommy” go??  I’m not “mom”.)  He’s going on a roller coaster ride down my throat!

My Grumpy Valentine

When I was single,  I hated Valentine’s Day.  Now that I’m coupled up, I still hate Valentine’s Day.  It’s a ridiculous holiday.  I’ve searched the web for more info on the history of Valentine’s Day, and it’s sketchy to say the least.  After a brief search, I already have 8 different theories on who St. Valentine was and what he did.  None of them are particularly good stories.  And they all boil down to man being martyred.

I did, however, find one interesting story about the holiday’s past:

The lovers’ holiday traces its roots to raucous annual Roman festivals where men stripped naked, grabbed goat- or dog-skin whips, and spanked young maidens in hopes of increasing their fertility.

Not to be too crass, but I can almost guarantee that there will be “celebrations” of naked men and young maidens nation-wide tonight.  Apparently people haven’t changed all that much since the rule of the Roman Empire…

I just don’t get the whole concept.  I’m convinced that Valentine’s Day would have died out ages ago if it weren’t for companies like Hallmark.  Even at my kid’s school, you had to bring a Valentine for every kid in the class.  I’m not trying to a scrooge here, but we still have Christmas candy at our house.  I can promise you we don’t need Valentine candy, too.  The Easter Bunny will be bringing chocolate eggs soon enough.  (That’s another holiday that has been destroyed by mass marketing, by the way.  What in the world do a rabbit and eggs have to do with the death & resurrection of Christ??)

I’ve wandered far, far from where I meant to go with this post.  My point was that although I think Valentine’s Day is silly, I do think it’s important to do something special and thoughtful for your spouse.  I just don’t think it should be tied down to a certain date.  Celebrate them at other times when they don’t expect it.  I got flowers from Marshall yesterday…just because.  It was nice; especially since it was a surprise!   And, if Marsh is lucky, I might just buy some Zaxby’s and some candles one day next week when he’s expecting to eat leftovers for dinner yet again.