The White Pages

She’s 6 Months Old February 11, 2013

Filed under: From My Home — perfectlywhite @ 5:20 am

Our baby girl is 6 months old, and I am stilled.

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Stilled by how fast her little life has developed and grown.

Stilled by her smile, her contentedness, her grace.

Stilled by how well Corban loves her, his gentleness and concern.

Stilled by the depth of love once again.

I’m learning so much from our Brielley Bean.
She smiles from her soul.
Explores so intently, quietly.
And she waits, sits, takes in moments.
That God would be your might, Sweet Bean.

 

Little Hands February 8, 2013

Filed under: From My Heart — perfectlywhite @ 2:32 am

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What is it about little hands?

Little hands have the power to reach into my ever-important adult world

grasp my heart

and remind me to hold onto moments.

Moments like when Corban is sick and all he wants is to cuddle, to know that someone is in it with him. He reaches over with his little hand and plays with my hair, just to make sure I’m there and I know that he’s there, too.

Or when I’m finished feeding Brielle and she reaches her baby chub hand up to my face, smiles a little bit and babbles sweet baby sounds. It’s almost like she’s saying thank you, I’m full and content now, I just like being here with you.

Little hands remind me to be with.

To hold.

To savor the simplicity of small touch.

And to know when to let go.

 

Momfession February 5, 2013

Filed under: From My Home — perfectlywhite @ 4:01 am
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Its funny how you think you’re the best parent ever when you don’t have children yet. You play the whole, “When I have kids I will never do that!” or even better, “My kid will never act, do, say that!” I did this all the time. Momfession: I have done many of those things, and my kid has probably acted that way, done that, and said that too.

My children were never going to look like ragamuffins. Corban (child of a youth pastor, mind you) has gone to church with bed head and jelly on his face.

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I was never going to put the television on to pacify my children. Done that, too.

I was never going to speak in anger towards (lets be real, or yell at) my children. Never. It doesn’t happen often, but it has happened. I make sure to apologize and ask forgiveness when it does happen. It’s a humbling thing when your two your old says, “Dont talk to me that way!” – and he’s right. We pray a lot during those moments.

My children were never going to throw a fit over a toy in the store. It’s simple psychology. Never buy a toy for your kid when he’s present and he won’t ever expect to get a toy while at the store. Extinction before there’s even a conditioned response. Apparently two year olds don’t take behavioral psychology.

My child was never going to steal another child’s toy. If you want a good argument for original sin, watch a couple of toddlers in a sandbox with only one shovel.

What’s interesting to me about all of these things (and I’m sure there are more) is that they are all behavior and image related. I wanted (wanted, ha, still want) to be a perfect parent with a perfect child. Pleasant, smiling, intelligent, well coifed little robots. I was, and often am, after the wrong thing.

I’m learning how to pray for my children from David. The David from the Bible. The man after God’s heart that had an affair with another man’s wife, lied about it, then killed him to keep it under wraps. That David. No, I don’t want my kids to do these things, but yes, they will make mistakes. They need room to make mistakes. And they need to learn from and live alongside their mom and dad the kind of discipline, grace, and dependence on Jesus that will guide their hearts to change – like David. Hearts that run after God’s heart, that’s what I will pray over my children.

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Chicken Tortilla Salad February 1, 2013

Filed under: From My Hands — perfectlywhite @ 1:53 pm
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This salad is known in our house as “the salad that Corban eats” or “the salad that makes me forget I can’t eat dairy” or “what should we have for dinner, how about the salad? salad”.

I always forget about salad. Vegetables and I had a tumultuous relationship until I was 20. My experience up until that point included canned corn and green beans, both of which taste like water and salt. I’d really rather just have water and salt, thanks. The only “vegetable” I really liked was the tomato which, it turns out, is not a vegetable.

At some point in college, I made it a goal to like vegetables. It was probably because I was getting married and wanted to lose weight, but hey, whatever gets ya there. The summer that we got married I discovered fresh garden vegetables, and it was then that I decided, wait! These taste like…something! I have been cultivating (didn’t even do that on purpose) a love of fresh, delicious, and cute (trust me, seedlings are way cute) vegetables ever since. I’m pretty sure Caleb thought I was nuts when I kept worrying about my vegetable babies growing in the basement last spring. I probably was.

I suppose for clarity’s sake, I will call this chicken tortilla salad. It helps me remember that salad is a good idea.

Chicken Tortilla Salad

I love this salad because I don’t miss the cheese at all. If you can’t have dairy, emulsified salad dressing and avocados are your friend. Both are reminiscent of the creamy texture of dairy that that we miss so much. It serves two adults and a hungry 2 year old.

Salad

4 cups fresh salad greens, we’ve used them all
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 (or 12…we love avocados) avocado, pitted and cubed
1 cup corn (best cut fresh from the cob, frozen would work too…thawed, of course)
Cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup black beans (cooked or canned), drained and rinse
3 green onions, white and green parts
1-2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into strips
Tortilla Chips, for “chomping on top” in Corbanspeak.

Dressing

(slightly adapted from this recipe)
1 jalapeño pepper, seed and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pulse jalapeño and garlic in a food processor until finely minced. Add lime juice, honey, balsamic, salt, and cilantro and pulse until combined. Turn on food processor and slowly stream in oil until emulsified, which is a happy word that describes the chemical process in which oil and vinegar mix together and get all thick and creamy.

Toss the dressing and salad ingredients together. You may not need all of the dressing – start with less and add more if you think it’s still dry. Top with sliced grilled chicken and make sure to let your two year old chomp the chips on top or you will hear about it at the table.

 

Who wants a fun date idea? January 30, 2013

Filed under: From My Home — perfectlywhite @ 2:17 am
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Caleb’s cousin sent us a Facebook message Saturday saying she was coming over to babysit our kids. Well, if you really have to, I guess we could find something to do ;). Thanks, Anna!

Now that we live in a city, we date at Target a lot. Fast fact, we also started dating at Target. Romance at its finest. We were 15 and had done the whole, “Hey! Lets go play with the bouncy balls at Target!” thing. That may have been one of the more rebellious things we did in high school. Anyways, we were walking from the store to somebody’s car (whose? we couldn’t even drive…) and I think Caleb said something like, “So I don’t know how to say this but, [long awkward adolescent dating pause] will you go out with me?”. And I said, “Yes, for the rest of our lives. Let’s get married in 5 years and start having kids right away!” Not really. I think I just gave him a big hug and said, “Sure, ok!” I love the look on his face when he recalls that hug. End fast fact.

Saturday night we went to Target and bought $5 pants. Then we went to a coffee shop and spent $10 on lattes. Caleb likes to play games, and I like feeling smart, so we picked up the coffee shop’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire (junior edition). We made up our own rules because that’s more fun, and 60 minutes, 5 phone-a-friends (we have some friends with impressive deductive reasoning skills), an ask the audience (two unsuspecting fellow coffee drinkers), and too much latte later, and I am a junior millionaire. Caleb lost at $300 because of the question who are Hoot, Righty, and Garcia?  The answer is Beanie Babies, not a jazz trio. I won with the question what is a calliope, which I probably could have answered on my own if Caleb had pronounced it right. I got ahold of Pastor Dave as my phone-a-friend, and he knew the answer with no options and a mispronunciation. He can have 5%. Thank you’s also go out to Susan, Jamie, Kristi, and Jared for their insight on zoology, recess games, Greek mythology, and comic books. I was up until 2 am.

If you’d like a fun date idea, we suggest playing Who Wants to be a Millionaire at a coffee shop. It was one of the most fun dates we’ve had in a long time. We laughed a ton, got out of our comfort zones a bit, and learned some useless trivia. Also, I learned that I should not play the adult edition. I realize not everyone has access to Who Wants to be a Millionaire Junior Edition, but you could add a creative element and make your own. We will probably do this.

 

It’s Messy Stuff January 27, 2013

Filed under: From My Heart — perfectlywhite @ 5:14 am
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I have a love hate relationship with Play-Doh. I’m sure there are many who share my sentiment. I came downstairs yesterday to a proud look on Corban’s face and conspicuous pieces of the stuff on Brielle’s shirt. At first I thought he’d tried to feed her the Play-Doh. He quickly reassured me that no, “I just put it in her sweater, Mommy!” It’s in the baby’s sweater, it’s under my table, it’s mashed in my rug, dried on his sleeve, and floating at the bottom of my water glass. It’s also one of the only things that captures Corban’s attention for longer than ten minutes, so it has that going for it.

Corban got his first set of Play-Doh for Christmas last year (from us, no less). I remember opening it to immediate anxiety. It was so uniform, so one color, so neat, so compartmentalized. And I desperately wanted it to stay that way. I may have even googled ideas for Play-Doh preservation. I tried to convince the 20 month old that, “No, Bubs, the blue and the orange shouldn’t be smushed together.” We all know that I tried failed. 10 minutes in and my Play-Doh fears were realized.

Fast forward a year, and I’ve come to grips with multi-colored Play-Doh smashed into containers and topped with lids that don’t match. I’ve even come to realize how beautiful the ribbons of teal, purple, green, and yellow are when artfully sent together through the extruding press (actual name for the spaghetti maker, I looked it up). Had I spent ridiculous time and energy preserving the facade of neat and tidy, I would have missed out on the beauty of embracing the messy. And that, my friends, is gospel truth. Grace gets into our messy, bleeds out of our neat and tidy boxes, takes up camp in places we may not want it to be, and turns our hidden ashes into beautiful ribbons of color.

 

Sometimes he does things differently than I do. January 22, 2013

Filed under: From My Home — perfectlywhite @ 4:03 pm
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I love the way Caleb reads books. It used to annoy me. A lot. Actually, a lot of things that Caleb does differently than I do used to annoy me a lot. Some of them still do. He has to have his game pieces set up just so, and they’re so ordered I just have to mess them up a little. When he’s not looking. I usually enjoy the challenge of “how long until Caleb notices his houses are upside down” more than the actual game. Caleb tends to do things slowly(!) and deliberately. He takes time for the details, for order, for being thorough.

I think that the way people read books says a lot about their personality. I can only read one book at a time or I give up altogether (this will help you understand the pile of unfinished craft projects in our basement). Sometimes there’s chocolate on the edges, which may not tell you much about my personality, but does reflect the extent of my chocolate problem affinity. I read quickly, look for the most important ideas, and leave the rest. It takes Caleb probably 5x longer than me to read a book. When he’s done, it looks like its been read. The binding is cracked in several places, the corners of the book are bent gently. He underlines important points. Not everything, like I would, just the few things that really mean something to him. And then, my favorite part, he lets this book that he has spent weeks with affect him. He didn’t give up on it a month back when it was slow going, like I would have. Instead, he has savored the words, thought about them, let them challenge and change him. Imagine what the man does with a Bible in his hands.

I know that he will still read this way when we no longer have little babies asleep upstairs. I know that he will slowly turn pages with the same strong hands. There’s something so wise and confident in the way he reads. It reflects the way he loves.