"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

23 March 2011


When Nich and I started talking seriously about having children, one of my first thoughts was that I didn't want to raise them here. I have dealt with so much hateful ignorance while subbing in various schools in the area that I can't imagine trusting my biracial children to that system.

I came across Kip Fulbeck's The Hapa Project this past year.

ha•pa (hä’pä) adj. 1. Slang. of mixed ethnic heritage with partial roots in Asian and/or Pacific Islander ancestry. n. 2. Slang. a person of such ancestry. [der./Hawaiian: hapa haole. (half white)]

According to Fulbeck's website, "Once a derogatory label derived from the Hawaiian word for “half,” Hapa has since been embraced as a term of pride by many whose mixed racial heritage includes Asian or Pacific Island descent. Kip Fulbeck began The Hapa Project as a forum for Hapas to answer the question 'What are you?'"

When we were dating, Nich told me how his Asian friends in the military would call him "round eye." It didn't bother him; he thought it was funny. He also told me how they would refer to one another in terms that, had an "other" used them, would be considered racist. It reminded me of how black people refer to one another using a word that the rest of us would never fathom using. It also reminded me of how much I hated it when Cameroonians would call out "ching chong" and make donkey noises (their version of what Chinese people sounded like) at me when I was growing up.

I want our children to grow up knowing that they are beautiful - inside and out - because they are created in the image of a majestic Creator. I don't want other people's idiocy and narrow-mindedness to scar their perceptions of themselves. I want them to be proud of their heritage. And I want Nich and me to have enough wisdom, love, and humility to raise them to be confident, godly people, secure in who they are in Christ.

Lord, have mercy.


I've always been partial to homemade items, especially as gifts. This is partially because I enjoy arts/crafts, baking, cooking, etc. so giving things away provides a perfect excuse to have projects going. During college, I baked for friends, made scarves and hats for Christmas presents, and began my "tradition" of making afghans for their weddings, and later on, their babies.

Nich bought me a sewing machine for my birthday last year, and I've slowly been learning how to make use of it. I made my first baby quilt with it when my friend Rachel's little Josiah was born, and I have found it to be quite useful in hemming up new pants (which is always a necessity, because even when I buy in "petite," they are always half an inch or so too long).

Since learning that I was to be a mama, though, my sewing machine has found a new purpose: making baby-related items! My friend Jill is a very experienced seamstress and an excellent quilter. I found out that she was making Brennan a beautiful sailboat quilt (I've seen the blocks - they're gorgeous) early on in my pregnancy, and I asked her if she would help me make some things for the nursery. Had I known how much simpler and CHEAPER it was to make things myself, I may have passed on the safari crib set from Babies 'R' Us ... but then again, it's oh-so-cute. :~)

Anyway, Jill helped me make cushion covers for my rocking chair - my very first REAL sewing project! (I don't count the baby quilt, because I sort of made things up as I went, watching YouTube tutorials for the parts I couldn't figure out/invent). Since then, Jill has made me changing pad sheets (baby shower gift) and homemade cloth wipes (from scraps she had from previous projects). We've also received several crocheted blankets and another quilt for Brennan.

All that to say, as much as I appreciate all the other gifts people have given (especially our cloth diapers! ... and other things from our registries), there is something special about receiving homemade gifts. More than what the item is, it's the thought that someone invested their time into creating something for us that touches my heart.

21 March 2011


Mondays are overwhelming for me. I get used to having Nich home over the weekend, and even if he isn't home 24/7 during those two days, it's so much easier to have him here to help me take care of Brennan, to talk to, and free me up to take care of other things around the house.

I'm finding that motherhood is definitely something that you can't understand until you go through it yourself; the joys and challenges are so much more REAL than I ever comprehended.

All that to say, I'm having an especially rough morning today. I have moments of, "I can't do this. I need help" and then I realize, I have to do this. I'm the only one who can. Maybe that realization should "empower" me, but for now, it's just scary and makes me feel helpless. I know I CAN do this; it's just hard sometimes.

18 March 2011

Hi, World!

Brennan just continues to delight our hearts every day. This picture is from a couple weeks ago (when he was still fitting into that newborn outfit!), but it makes me smile every time I see it.

On this gloomy, rainy day, we have another appointment with the pediatrician to do a weight check. Hopefully, it will be the last one until his 2-month well-baby check up!

17 March 2011


Brennan has been smiling for a few days now, but this morning, he was all happy, toothless grins as I was changing him and chatting with him.

It melted my mama-heart.

14 March 2011

More Good Things

I know women say that giving birth is the hardest thing they've ever done, but I don't know what they're talking about. Parenting a newborn is undeniably the most difficult thing I've ever done, and I had a long and challenging labor/delivery. But there are so many good things that balance out the hard stuff, and I try to keep those blessings in mind. Plus, Brennan's so darn CUTE. :~)

So, today's list:

- I like my Moby wrap. Better still, Brennan seems to like it, although I don't know how much longer he can last in the newborn hold.
- I'm thankful for talented friends with skills I lack. I want one of these, but I don't know where to buy one, as we have no Koreatown here in Whiteville, USA. I may just have to ask my friend Jill (who helped me make my rocking chair cushions and is kindly making Brennan a beautiful sailboat quilt) to help me sew one.
- Brennan's growing by leaps and bounds ... length-wise. He's still not back up to his birth weight yet, but he has lengthened a whopping inch and a half since birth. How Nich and I made a long, skinny baby, I don't know. Hopefully, he'll start fattening up soon.
- I love watching Brennan sleep. When we're holding him while he's sleeping, he'll often tuck his head into the crook of our elbows, almost as if he's trying to block the light out. It's so stinkin' cute.
- I've started showering in the evenings, mostly because it's easier to do when Nich's home. That way, I can take my time instead of rushing through it "just in case." It's a really nice way to decompress. That said, I've been able to shower EVERY DAY since we've been home from the hospital. Apparently, that is a small miracle.
- Nich loved the hour-long massage I got for him as a thank you for being a great husband/father last week.
- The weather is finally warming up, and there is NO SNOW in the forecast for the next 10 days. I'm hoping this means we've had all the snow we're going to get and that spring is coming. I really look forward to spending more time outdoors with Brennan.
- We're still getting occasional meals, which is SO helpful. It'll be nice if it lasts until I'm brave enough to take Brennan to WalMart (ewww ... the germs) for groceries. For now, we've been getting necessities at the Hannaford around the corner, but things are so much more price-y there.
- Fenugreek tea isn't bad. I didn't even need sweetener in it. Although, what Nich got is called "Organic Mother's Milk Tea," and just has fenugreek as one of the main ingredients, so maybe I shouldn't speak so soon.
- This Sunday marks 4 weeks (1 month) for Brennan, which means I'll get to start taking him places where there are more people ... like Bible study. I'm still hesitant about taking him to VERY public, indoor places, though ... like WalMart.
- I've read a book and a half this week.
- Borders is Saratoga is closing. Brennan and I are going to go check it out later this week to see if there are any good baby/kids books on sale. If we have time, we may look for grown up books, too.
- Skype is a wonderful thing, and I love that my mom says she misses Brennan. :~)
- In about a month, we'll get a visit from my "little sister" Julie who I know from Cameroon.
- In about two months, we get to see some of my dearest college friends and their kids.
- Our chiropractor checked out Brennan's spine, and he's perfectly aligned. How he managed that through three hours of me pushing, I have no idea, but I'm thankful!
- Sometimes, when it's time for Brennan to eat, he's so enthusiastic about it that he makes these snorting noises as he's rooting. He sounds just like a little piglet, and it makes us laugh.
- Baby skin is just so SOFT and nuzzle-able. 

09 March 2011

Good Things

I can't believe we're in our third week with Brennan in our lives, or that Nich and I have been parents for 16 days. At times, it seems as though he has always been here, and then there are the moments where I look around my house and wonder why we have so much more stuff ... and we didn't even register for/get half the stuff on the so-called "necessary" lists.

I decided that I needed to write down a few of favorite things from the past two and a half weeks so I don't forget them.

- I marvel at the fact that I can have the laptop on my lap right now, with no belly in the way.
- I love how Brennan holds on to my thumb while he's nursing.
- I love that I've been able to take a shower and get dressed every day since we've been home from the hospital.
- I love how curious he is as his big eyes move around, taking things in.
- He has a cute little scowl he wears sometimes and he gets little wrinkles on his forehead. I call him "little professor" when he does this. In fact, all his crazy facial expressions make us laugh.
- Nich has given me foot rubs almost every night.
- Brennan nuzzles into my neck after I burp him, and it's the sweetest feeling in the world.
- I love how soft, soft, soft he is.
- I love that he has his sweet, baby smell, even after days of not being bathed. Too bad we can't all be like that.
- I've really liked being back in my OWN clothes, especially since I was fully prepared for it to take me 6 weeks to 9 months (according to various sources) to get back into them. I am still extremely grateful to all the friends who lent me maternity clothes. I also have a newly discovered appreciation for stretchy-neck tops, because I don't like to hoist my shirt up to breastfeed, even with my handy Udder Cover.
- It's pretty incredible that I eat like a trucker and still lose weight.
- It's sad and funny that Brennan's cry sounds like "la la la" and Nich sings along with him.
- Brennan doesn't cry or fuss very much.
- Having friends who make us meals, shovel our driveway, run errands, and vacuum for us has been an unforeseen blessing for which I can't express enough thanks.
- Nursing has not been at all a nightmare, like some warned me. In fact, the only time I have wished I could just start pumping NOW is at three in the morning when I just want to sleep. :~)
- Nich is an amazing husband and an incredible daddy. I love him more each day.
- Despite Nich and I being sick, sick, sick the past few days, Brennan (and my mom) have stayed healthy. 

I'm sure I could think of more things to add, but I have to take a shower while he's snoozin'.

05 March 2011


Our photographer friend Becky (for whom Nich and I modeled for a Trash the Dress session - not with my dress - last fall) gave us the fantastic gift of a portrait session for Brennan at our baby shower. We elected to get newborn portraits done, because he's only going to be so little once, and we wanted to capture that. So, at five days old, Brennan had his first professional portraits taken. Here's a sampling (same as the ones on my FB). Enjoy!