it occurred to me recently that you probably could start an online dating service based on a new type of compatibility algorithm: recent google searches.

because really, who knows more about your current interests, musings, and weird medical complaints than your stalwart friend, Mr. Google?

with him as matchmaker, i'm betting everyone could find someone as weird and secretly rash-covered as they are! obviously, there would be a strong confidentiality clause built in to our Terms of Service Agreement (wait, "our?!" am i actually starting this site?!) because people often ask google things that they would NEVER ask another human being out loud (i.e. "explain black people's hair." that one from yours truly).

and since i have already found my soulmate and we are obviously compatible in every way (he brings me cheese), i can waive my right to confidentiality and share some of my own recent google searches.

"average transit times for crossing the atlantic throughout history" because i am reading an alexander hamilton biography and i need to know how long the information lag is as far as the colonies receiving news from europe. and because from the vikings to the concorde, holy moly, what a cool undertaking and display of technology=efficiency.

"amazon super saver shipping not working" ugh. as of october 21, you have to spend $35 minimum to get this. BARF! i feel so betrayed.

"how tall is zac brown?" because i am 95% sure i ran into him leaving a doctor's appointment.

"big booty hoes" um this was NOT an image search, but rather a brushing up on lyrics from the classic song so that i could make a pun on my friend's buddha picture on instagram.

"how do you pronounce Exchequer?" because, seriously, english people? what a weird word. 

"what happened to kim kardashian's face?" answer: lots of plastic surgery. yucko.

"james madison university" because their mascot is the dukes, and i mean, i would love to get a nice "dukes" shirt and rock it because of funny.

"how to simulate bangs" a halloween costume related inquiry.

"is eyebrow dandruff a thing?" oh yes it is, and looks like i have it. along with FACE DANDRUFF. dont worry, this IS the most embarrassing thing ever. i always thought i just had persistent dry skin from my eyeballs up in the winter time, but dr. google says that it's Seborrheic dermatitis, or cradle cap....of the face....on a grown up. dont laugh, you probably have it too since it's stupid common. and dont mind me while i'm over here swapping out my face wash for head & shoulders. #shuntheleper

"mean preschool friends" ugh. i dont even want to talk about this one. but it pertains to judah and it is heartbreaking and it totally proves original sin.

"thomas jefferson was an ass" YES HE FREAKING WAS. i am so mad because i spent my first 20 years thinking that he was my favorite president. NOT NOT NOT. turns out he's a racist, backstabbing, sniping, patrician cowardly punk. 

"how do i find a list of my recent google searches?" because i'm too smart for my ownself..

ok, there. i showed you mine. why dont yall ctrl+H and divulge some of your weirdest recent googs. 


Trick or Treat: Take a Peek

we are getting some questions about this year's family costume plan. to be honest, i had sort of hoped that everyone had just forgotten we ever did that these past 4 years so that we'd be off the hook this year and could just dress the kids up in store-bought whatever.  and then jesse and i could for once look like normal, sane human adults at the church trunk-or-treat fall festival event we always attend. 

no such luck. i guess i was delusional to think i could ever in my life dress up like a 5'7 bottle of soy sauce and that anyone would forget it. as much as i was feeling uninspired and overwhelmed as recently as yesterday about this year's halloween getups, i am glad my friends prompted/pressured me  because we got an thunderbolt  idea last night that the kids were excited about, that is mildly unique and that could be DIY'd on the cheap and with my limited tailoring skills.

today we hit up goodwill for some elements we didnt already own. this outing culminated in the most epic judah meltdown in the history of judah.--the boy AND the kingdom--which is saying a lot about how bad today was for the boy, because whoa-golly the kingdom really knew how to melt down, yall. we brought our bounty home and i got sewing.

in the interest of fun, and to celebrate me actually planning and working ahead of october 31st, i thought i'd give yall a little sneaky peeky of one element from one family member's costume to see if anyone can pull off a super-sleuthing and guess our ensemble. last time i did this guessing game was in 2009 for sushi fam and despite my teaser pics being SO obscure, my buddy (and HUGE encourager!) alicia nailed it via her hubby's guess. so i am going to try to be extra withholding (i think!) this time so that i dont feel dumb when the first person nails it. 

here's your one hint (not telling who this is for).

alright so what is this? and what costume is it a part of? and what does that make the other 3 costumes in the family? anyone who nails all 4 of our 10/31 identities based on this photo wins 8 stanley nickels!


i scream

it became a family tradition over the summer to go out for ice cream after dinner once or twice a week. technically, it was yogurt, or yoghurt if you feel fancy and want to use the kings english or perhaps fro-yo if you want me to punch you square in the mouth. once i figured out how to beat that newfangled tricky "pay per ounce" racket they've got going, it became a [semi]solid treat that got us out of the house on weeknights and made me no fatter than a bowl of cheerios would (TCBY white chocolate mousse....that's that only way to fly). 

of course it may have also contributed to judah having a cavity at his first dentist appointment yesterday, but he rocked the laughing gas like a pro, got his filling, a pair of sunglasses, a fake mustache set, a telescopic wand, and naturally loved the whole experience (i mean, who wouldnt). so i am officially a fan of the kiddie dentist, yall. i do wonder how judah will feel on christmas morning when santa brings him a piece of paper that says "general anesthesia and a composite filling back in october were your BIG gifts! ho, ho ho!" 

FTR: layla utterly punked out and refused to let anyone come near her. she was straight up J Edgar Hoover up in that joint, eyeing anyone who came within 4 meters of her with unadulterated suspicion.  she would be squarely IN my lap but if her proximity klaxons were triggered she would try to climb UP me as if to be MORE in my lap, or possibly inside of me. it was like dealing with a baby lemur in a room full of wolves (?...what is the natural predator of a lemur?).

we did manage to get her to just open up for the tool-free dentist to have a looksee. he instantly pegged us as paci enablers. her bite is HORRIBLE. this is sad because neither jesse or i needed braces (though i had them because a family friend was an orthodontist and we got them for free just to fine tune me...thanks, buddy!) and were blessed with great spacing and bite. these attributes are the shining stars of our gene pool and we have managed to undo it by drugging our baby with a rubber nipple. luckily, it will self-correct if we get her clean (again!) before her next molars come in. 

anyhow, since it has been awhile since the munchkins got any blog love, here's a smattering of pics from one ice cream outing we took in september and some of their quotes/interests/behavior from lately.

um, why did all the people who warned me about teenage girl drama neglect to mention a close rival: four year old boy drama! judah is hilariously sensitive, fashion-obsessed, and prone to soap-opera level outbursts of emotion. 

he is so very particular about what he wears and it changes from week to week so you can never be sure what is a solid go-to and what is basically the equivalent of asking him to wear soiled toilet paper. one day i forced him to wear a button up shirt to church (i think jesse was preaching so i cared a little more). afterward we went to lunch where we ran into a friend of his. the friend was feeling very shy and wouldnt talk to judah at first. judah came running up to me and said, "logan ignored me. i KNEW i shouldn't have worn this outfit!" i about died. 

this girl. um, there really just arent words for how freaking hilarious and sweet and sassy she is. she could play pretend for hoooooooooours. no toys necessary; just you and her and a million scenarios where she is a baby fox or you are a monster. god forbid you play with her in close confines before you've brushed your teeth, though. girlfriend wastes no time asking, "wha da tink? da yo breff?" why, yes layla it is. maybe if you werent one millimeter away from my face 2 seconds after i have woken up, it wouldnt be so TINKY.

she seems to have inherited her mommy's penchant for turning a beautiful phrase. the other night, completely serious, she told jesse in response to him telling her she couldnt have a marshmallow,  "you a penis face." FIRST: let me assure you she has nevvvvvvvver heard us say this, and we only use the word penis in its correct anatomical sense. i had to turn and exit the room and let jesse try to keep a straight face and explain to her why we dont use words in that way.

all of a sudden this kid can write and name any letter that he sees. it's insane to watch a child becoming literate. he has always been a bit behind his classmates (late birthday, he's a boy, just because) in the fine motor skills used in writing and drawing, but just in the first two months of the school year, his penmanship has exploded and is really very nice and tidy, and he can spell any word that he sees so loud and proud and fast. 

on sunday he wanted to go into big church with me for the music before going into his class. we were singing a song with the lyrics up on the screen as always. it was a quiet, slow song and i was simultaneously mortified and tickled when he started SCREAMING out the individual letters as the words flashed by on the screen during the oh so introspective "amazing grace." we had to high-tail it out of there at that point (i told him we were going to get a treat from daddy's office for his awesome spelling). 

layla has picked up some funny syntax. if you tell her something we are going to do or something she needs to do, she likes to reply, "why not?" it's very jarring. she doesnt mean it like, "sure, why not!" so i will say, "lay, let's go brush your hair." and she will go "why not?"  and i am just like, "what? no, um. huh? that question makes no sense." how do you explain to a 2 year old that that phrase can only fittingly go in response to a negative statement? i think she uses it now just to bring me up short. #winner

the thing about have kids 17 months apart? well, everyone says they'll be best buddies. but this didnt kick in for a looooong time. i would say 2.5 and 4 have been the magic ages where they're finally becoming playmates and equals. i am astounded every time i come upon a scene where they are having a conversation or doing the back and forth of real play together. i feel all Mr. Burns-like: "yes, it's finally working! exxxxxxcellent!"

the other day i was getting ready for a party while jesse went to pick up the babysitter. i had tried on a dress and needed to take it off. in some freakish MC Escher turn of events, i somehow physically could not unzip myself, despite having just zipped myself in. my shoulders would not bend the right way or something. so i went to judah and asked him to unzip me. he gave it a tug (with only one hand and no supporting other hand beside the zipper) and declared that it was too hard. i coached him a bit, telling him it was a tricky zipper (one of those invisible ones that are hard to pull anyway) but that he could definitely do it. he tried one more time and then shook his head, "i just cant do it, mommy. this is a mighty one."

ah, so mighty.


cuhmote: remote control

tee-wah-wah: tiara

pin-cess wahna: princess wand

tu-tu: any skirt

cocoa pops: any cereal

carly and lo-lo "charlie and lola"

this kid has suuuuuuuch the tender heart. one morning i was sorting laundry and judah randomly told me that he "didnt really like me". i told him that that was kind of hurtful to say to someone out of the blue and that i loved him so much but that my heart was a little sad. i decided to just move on though, and a few minutes later i noticed him kneeling on the rug a few feet away from me with his head down against the carpet. i asked him what he was doing and he said, "i'm just sittin' here and trying to think of how to cheer you up." it was really eye-opening since i hadnt been trying to put a guilt trip of any kind on him and had truly moved on after telling him about my initial feelings. the fact that he took it upon himself to make me feel better told me a lot about his heart and how readily he would take responsibility for someone else's emotions. i feel like i learned a really important lesson in how to parent this particular child in that moment. note to self: do NOT try to manipulate judah's behavior with guilt trips!

i, too, am a very serious grapeviner

we may have a master manipulator on our hands with little ladypie. if i tell her no she cant have/do something, she almost invariably says, "my daddy said i could" (ironically, THIS would be the perfect time for her to drop a "why not?"). she does the opposite thing when its jesse telling her no "mah mommy said yes". if claiming permission from the non-present parent doesnt work, or if we have to discipline her for something, she will go outside the immediate family. her favorite names to invoke as she wails for justice are "I WANT......" grandaddy, garrett (her beloved bruncle), caleb (a fellow two year old and her best friend), and waffle (a deceased cat). the only one of those who WOULD take her side is caleb...so we're good.

one morning while he was freaking out about not being able to wear the same shirt he had worn to school the day before, we had a heartbreaking peek into how satan is already trying to lie to judah. we had told him his mickey shirt was dirty and he'd have to chose something else. this devolved so quickly in his head and suddenly he said, "this is my number one nightmare! i wont wear something cool to school and all the kids will call me a silly ballerina boy!" jesse and i were flabbergasted. we asked if he had seen that situation happen on a show or if anyone he knew had ever called him names. he said no, that had never happened in real life, but he was insistent that this was his "#1 nightmare." it was heartbreaking to hear the fear he had for this kind of cruelty or ostracizing ever happening to him, even in the hypothetical.

note to self: build up this kids inner worth and never, even playfully, mock his appearance or masculinity.

layla does this heart-warming thing lately where when i sing her her bedtime song (usually L-A-Y-L-A to the tune of bingo was his name-o) and i am resting over her propped up on my elbows, she reaches up, grabs my neck, and pulls me ohsoclose to her until i am smothered in pillow-fluffand in love. smushed cheek to cheek with her. this is all the more touching because she went through a phase there where she really didnt like to show affection to me. getting her to hug or kiss me or even say i love you was hard and it was taking a toll on my heart. rather than getting upset or forcing it, i just decided to ignore it and pour more of my love into her. it totally worked gangbusters on my little spitfire and i am getting 200% more snuggle output these days.

yum. three scoops, please!

we went to a fall family festival at our church last weekend (i was giddy with glee because fall festivals are my favorite!). within 3 minutes of arriving, the kids had had popcorn, cotton candy, and played a game where they eat a powdered donut and then get a candy reward once they eat it successfully. it was loco junk food heaven. after a few hours judah came over to sit by me and was rubbing his tummy. he said "i think i had too many goodies, mommy." and i was like, yeah, that sounds about right. and he goes, "why am i talking so slowly?" like a drugged little zombie. well, probably because you are super close to barfing, buddy. 

there are two horses that live in a pasture on our road. layla wanted to name them chocolate and vanilla (one is brown and one is white). judah wanted to name them thunder and lightning. so we compromised and now we greet Chocolate Lightning and Vanilla Thunder several times each day. i soon after decided that Vanilla Thunder would be my alias if i ever became a spy...or a stripper.

yup. that's about right.

re: his fashion sense, when judah dresses himself, he will always first go check himself out in the full length mirror, and then he asks, "do i look totally awesome, mommy?" and just this morning, he was not excited about having to wear a jacket so he told me, "i dont think this jacket and these shoes go." um, has he been sneaking in to watch what not to wear reruns at night? 

note to self: these kids are mind-boggling little treasures and i refuse to wish any of this stage away.


federalists and dentists.

raise your hand if you thought i'd been gone from the blog for so long because i was pregnant. well, you folks with your hands raised are right...not about that, but certainly about something in life. 

not pregnant. seriously. not. 

i've been gone mostly because jesse and i revamped our family excel budget after 9 years (7 joint) of doing it the same way. this switch-over has eaten up most of my computer time (after the requisite 13 day dukes family shutdown as we tried to agree on a new system...TOPICAL ZING!) as i adjust to my new spreadsheet glory. this is not a complaint. i love excel and i love budgeting and it temporarily became more gratifying than blogging.

 i'm actually reading an awesome alexander hamilton biography right now, and so all thing fiduciary are at the forefront of my brain as i try to be as awesome as him (i wonder if aaron burr ever called him a fiduciary-bag? because thats a solid burn to drop on an economist).

moving right along in utterly unrelated fashion...

the kids are going for their first ever dentist appointments today. for some reason i thought you could wait until they were way older, like school age, but then i started hearing friends saying they took their 1 or 2 years olds and i was all, "AHHHH DECAY!! I"M ALREADY TOO LATE" an immediately felt like a horrible parent.

nevertheless, that was like 6 months ago and i just finally did something about it today. if only action and overreaction came from the same parts of one's brain...i'd be invincible. i think the remembering of, "oh well, this is basically just their practice set of teeth...i'll be better about the permanent ones" was mostly to blame for putting their cleanings off so long. 

so they are going to one of those kiddie dentistry places that is pretty much 6 flags but with smaller water guns. this is super comforting to me as a parent knowing that it will entertain and make my kids feel at ease. however, it is upsetting to me as a grown up who had to deal with and overcome the sterile terror that was visiting a normal dentist when i was a kid. i already feel like our generation of kids is WAY too coddled about pretty much everything, so this tickles that same sensor a bit.

oh, but you better believe i still asked on the phone when i made my appointment, "now, yall have video games and friendly mascot-type murals, right?"

my middle name is integrity. 

how old were yours kids at their first dental visit? yay or nay on the cutesy little kiddie dental offices? am i ruining their moral fibers while strengthening their gums?!?!


Helmer Fug

hahahaha i am making out with myself over that title. (wait for it)

so here's a quick IKEA hackity/upgrade sort of project that i did recently. super easy plus wham-bamical impact.

before: IKEA HELMER drawer unit. red, metallic, labelable (hey, say that word out loud...such fun!) super useful and affordable plus the nostalgia of feeling like youre at your locker in between classes when you toss something in a drawer and hear that resounding steel GLONG noise, "gotta run! i'm late for German II! no wait, i'm 31."


also comes in lovely neutral shades, but if you think that 2 years ago keight was smart enough to select a neutral over FIRE ENGINE EYEBALL ASSAULT red, well, you just dont even understand how stupid i was or how far i have come in knowing my own style.

these units have been spectacularly useful in my sewing adventures. lots of drawers with just enough space to divide and contain many small collections of objects.  so when i kicked layla out of her room and into the closet (but not like that) and took it over as my big girl "Studio" (i'm very fancy: know this) i allowed the red HELMERS to come along even in their garish color,  for storganization if not style perfection.

hello, little friends. you'll live in this happy place now.

but finally we repainted this room. *note: painting OVER darkest grey is a royal bitch. it took like 6 coats to get the room white! i should mention that in a fit of lazy cheapsk8edness i opted for exterior paint instead of proper primer and this may or may not (but definitely did) affect the efficiency of the repaint*.

and of course, you may remember that one of these walls was extra special:


so with a nice sparkly new set of walls (which i'm not showing you today) my double pack of Big Red had officially worn out its welcome and needed to keep it tight to keep pace with my sexier-by-the-minute room.

so i opted to keep the function and spruce the form: a lil' paint project with ombre and pantone's color of the year as my inspiration.

i tossed the paper labels, took off the hardware and then roughed everything up with sandpaper (crucial or anything you paint on will come right off at the slightest scratch). 

then i painted the drawer-less frame with white spray paint,  and primed the drawers with spray primer.

here they are in progress as layla ponders morality after some grumpy disobedience. (just did a fast and dirty paint job on the inside since it should pretty much never be seen).

a closer shot. and a classic talking to from judah to layla, "layla, you're bein' really dark right now, but we're 'posed tuh shine like stars." seriously....this kid.

then i snagged a sample tub of the pantone color from lowe's for $3 (everything else so far i already had on hand).

shine bright like an...emerald.

i got out six disposable bowls and some white craft paint and added a little more white to each successive bowl (none in the first one and then lots in the 6th). then i added the emerald to each bowl (lots in the first, almost none in the 6th). and then i mixed them up to check the ombre-ness. this is kind of annoying and can take some time. use popsicle sticks in each bowl as your stirrers.

NOTE: this could have been done a lot faster but for a bit more money if i had just  bought a sample of each of the 6 shades i wanted in pre-ombre'd colors, like often come on a paint chip at the store.

see how the naturally dilute down in a perfect ombre effect? easy peasy to get them mixed and then apply straight to the project. 

but since i was just wanting a cheap makeover and didnt want to invest in all that paint, i just DIY'd the ombre. 

my drawer pulls got a quick zap of metallic gold spray paint (that i already had).

i replaced the paper handwritten labels with some cute vintage-looking cardstock scraps and stamped on the contents with a cute lil' alphabet set i snagged at michaels for 90 cents. 

a top coat of clear protector spray was the final touch...just in case i get rough or throwsy during one of my sewing she-hulk rages. cant let my outbursts leave scratches! 

i love how it all turned out!

im no photographer so the pic doesnt capture the real colors like i'd like, but i got fairly close to a perfect descending ombre effect. huzzah!

again, not great photo color, but i do love how i just willy-nilly stamped the letters on (trying to align them perfectly was a fools errand quickly discarded) for a little bit of fun.

my faithful HELMER is no longer Fug is is worthy of the ALMOST-completed studio (which i cant wait to show off).

obviously this will work on anything metal. i'm thinking thrifted lockers, an old filing cabinet, even trick out an old set of tool drawers (or just do your hubby's...he'll ADORE ombre in his workspace, obviously!)


baptismiversaday staycation 2k13: "gettin' DINKy wid it"

ohhhhhh mama, i am SO PUMPED for the next 5 days.

first, you'll be happy to hear that i heroically wrested control of this website back from the hostiles that overthrew it yesterday. jesse was punished brutally for fomenting rebellion--i normally love a good foment, but just not that kind. his punishment: me stepping on his bare foot and pivoting (thus twisting his surprisingly NOT gross, but still rather hobbit-like foot hairs). this is probably the only thing on planet earth that enrages my husband who has the temper of a filing cabinet (i dont know...? it's the end of the week and my metaphors are weak). 

seriously though, thanks to yall sweetums-poos who wrote mad-meaningful bday wishes. i dont like to advertise my bday too much. not because i am humble or dont want any attention, but because i dont want BS attention (like from 400 facebook friends who ignore me all year and then blow up my wall as if either of us really cares). i like to play hard to get and see who really loves me enough to know my birthday without a robotic reminder or to go beyond a 2 second wall blast. (yup, i sure do realize how psychotic and shallow this is of me. whatever. keepin' it real). anyway, the stuff i got from my bloggy internet family was my favorite gift! (huge props to jesse for knowing my secret, needy love language and setting things up for me to get some). 

ok so. 

my parents have a condo they own at the beach. ever since i was in 8th grade they have had one there, though they downsized when my brother and i graduated--to a one bedroom (we can take a hint!). well, they just sold the condo in hopes of retiring out west in a few years. so they are taking one last hurrah trip to the condo this week and offered to take judah with them. they said they could only take 2 kids at a time and  that Guinness, the ancient black dachshund, counts as one. sorry, layla.  so close!

luckily we have two sets of bananaramic grandparents, and the dukes offered to take layla during the same window.

so that means that on this, the biggest week of the year for me holiday-wise, i am kid-free for over 4 whole days!!!! 

hark those heralds, amiright?!?!

so when we got this childcare bounty all set up jesse and i took to the streets (of the internet) to find a sweet getaway. 

the last time we were kid free for this long, i annihilated jesse's brains (while pregnant) out with a MASSIVE surprise trip to mexico that he was utterly ignorant of until an hour before our flight. BLAM to the OH OH. 

so we looked. and looked and looked. but there was just nowhere calling to us louder than the sound of "YALL ARE POOR!" coming from our heartbrains. and rather than pulling a classic keight-move and forcing something just because (and paying the price next fiscal year), we decided to just be easy like sunday morning (which WILL be easy thanks to jesse also taking off a sunday at church: i havent seen jesse dukes before 9:30 am on a sunday in YEARS!!) and stay home kidless! .

we are staycationing. this is a term that is simultaneously so pleasing and yet obviously super lame, and i plan to use it wantonly over the next few days. yes. rather than packing up my suitcase, trying to remember all the small bottles of potion i need to hold my 31 year old acne at bay while not in my home territory and basically paying money to feel such stress, we are instead just taking a getaway to a simpler time: a time of D.I.N.K. (double income no kids) and newlywedship. 

the best part is, even though we arent as firm or svelte as we were back then, we are SMARTER. hardened  (in our souls if not our glutes) by battle (if not by squats), and ready to ACCEPT THE BLESSING of childless living. now, when we get a single child-free day due to amazing grandparents we will look at each other and go "WHAT IN THE EFF HELL DID WE USED TO FIGHT ABOUT!?!?! THIS IS THE EASIEST THING IN THE WORLD!!!!" so this special time is going to feel DINK+ since we know how precious that time is/was/should be.

because as actual DINKs, oh, we fought. we fought and fought and fought despite the fact that we only had one rectum's worth of wipe-responsibilities each. despite the fact that no one was drawing on the walls or dumping out 5 lbs of dry quinoa on the pantry floor. despite the fact that we were hot and (relatively) rich and bored and oh we  just FOUGHTSOMUCH. 

the immature part of me wants to just declare: married couples without kids: you are forbidden from fighting or complaining ever. your lives are so easy. youre basically living at sex camp.  majoring in sleep and minoring in freetime. be in love. the end.

but my higher-mammal brain does acknowledge (after a mental getaway at sex camp!) that you can only be where you are. that you sweet DINKs arent trying to waste the precious resource of young married life, you are just adorably stupid and you cant see its full worth (and wont until you've looked into the eye of the meconium hurricaine).

i can only appreciate quiet times with jesse now because i've moved into a place where they are so rare (that place is called 1200 square feet and two toddlers...or sometimes just "purgatory"). and i know it works both ways. i bet i could real quick make my current "crazy" life feel super easy by having triplets, or introducing a colony of wild badgers into the kitchen (either/or). 

so, whatever, DINK couples, do your thing. fight for HOURS and then sleep it off the next day because YOU CAN!  no sassy 2 year old mermaid ninja is going to come in at 2 am demanding you put her in a vintage sailor dress that she dug up from god knows where in the dead of night.  fight it out, learn to love each other right so that the ninjette and her parkour-enthusiast brother, far from driving you apart, will have a solid family foundation and model for marriage when they come tromping into your lives and your hearts eventually.

meanwhile, jesse and i will be secretly coveting your toned triceps and carefree dinner plans, not getting riled up by things that would have made us [re: me] nuclear 5 years ago, and only smiling maliciously a little bit when we think about how awesomely your asses are going to be kicked by those kids you "cant wait to have." 

but here is one thing i REFUSE to give grace to (very chrsitlike): DINK couples who don't DIY! for the sweet sweet love of Bob Vila, improve your home NOW!!! i get rage-gassy just thinking of the 3 years we spent loafing around our mediocre-to-nauseating house without using our hands and brains and the internet to make it OURS (not to mention that we could have become a saltier "young house love" first!) . we turned on our productivity right when judah was born and, naturally, have been impeded by our little love nuggets and could have gotten so flipping much done if we had been motivated back in the days when "i'm bored" was a nonfiction thought.

so yeah, the next 5 days are going to be amazing. hotels are exotic and fun and new, and it's nice to not have to clean them and all. but, oh man, just getting to do whatever you want in your very own house without any babytoothed productivity leeches getting in the way!?!?! that's downright naughty, naughty good. 

bout to get our three-way on with this big girl. (that's not inappropriate...i thought about it).


Show Some LOVE

Hey all you readers, lurkers, friends, followers, and any other types of Put Up Your Dukers:

Today is a special day.  Today is K8's 31st birthday.  And if you're anything like me, you're really grateful that K8 is alive.  

just love your face off

So how about today you guys share some of you favorite posts of all time with K8 and/or let her know why you appreciate her.

Because lets face it, God pretty much broke the mold with her am I right?

(She is immediately regretting allowing me posting privileges, and will probably revoke them after today)


my 2 weddings

i stood in front of loved ones 9 years and 1 day ago and declared my "'til death eternity NOTHING do us part" love for jesus. this was my public and outward vow of faith in christ. in a very real way it was my wedding to him: a public statement of my intent and desire to remain with him for all eternity.

that worked out nicely...

i stood in front of many of those same loved ones exactly 7 years ago today and committed my entire earthly self to jesse. sickness, health. richer, poorer. brain-meltingly frustrated, googly-eyed smitten. every moment we're both on earth, we're each others'. 

oh you two hot stupid little fools. 

the marriage parallel is probably my favorite of all the ways that the bible likens our relationship with christ to other things (i also LOVE king/subject, btw). i think one of the main reasons i favor this one above all the others (coin, sheep, prodigal, etc) is because it's sort of backwards from the way the others are presented.

lots of time we hear jesus say "the kingdom of heaven is like..." and then he puts it in terms of smaller, everyday stuff that we have more experience and familiarity with than the all-encompassing glory of god. i dont super-understand the everlasting sanctification of my mortally sinful spirit through christ's work on the cross, but i can picture a tree giving crappy rotten figs versus nice delicious plump ones. (i'll take a bushel of sancti-figs, please!)

take a big awe-inspiring idea and use something more common to help us understand it. take a big magical mysterious thing and boil it into something simpler that we have real life experience with. jesus was helpful like this when explaining his ways to us pea-brains

these comparisons are illustrations and they kind of stop there. we arent going to become seeds, or sheep or fruit when we enter god's kingdom. it's just a little glimpse to help us understand until we can truly  see. 

but with marriage it's the opposite. he presents the thing we're more day-to-day familiar with first: earthly marriage, and then says: "hey, this right here, it's even more lofty and weird and cool than you had ever dreamed of. MARRIAGE is like the kingdom of heaven." it is a subtle difference but it's one that i think makes both the faith relationship and the earthly marriage relationship both more magical.

when "the kingdom of heaven is like..." something else, it's glory coming down to earth. to our level. god most-high becoming human. the mystery of god's word being like scattered seed so we can sort of/kind of understand it. the creator of ALL THE THINGS becoming a tiny middle-eastern baby so we could feel his love.

that is amazing and awesome. but the coolest part of jesus isnt that he came down. it's that he rose back up: out of the grave and back to heaven and he brought us with him.

marriage isnt something bigger becoming something more humble to get on our level. it seems to me that it is something already magical having the chance to become even more. marriage is like the kingdom of heaven. the promise of the chance to be more, to love more. to draw even closer to him.

because when we get to god's kingdom we ARE actually going to be brides. spotless and new. perfected and ready to enter into an even deeper and more intimate relationship with our groom than we could have even dreamed of before the wedding feast. charles spurgeon describes it so perfectly:

Then it shall come to pass that Christ will celebrate this marriage supper, which will be the bringing of the people of God into the closest and happiest union with Christ their Lord in Glory.  Even now the Lord Jesus Christ is no stranger to some of us, and we are not strangers to Him. Yet there shall come a day when we shall see Him face to face and then we shall know Him with a clearer and fuller knowledge than is possible for us today.

jesus didnt give us marriage just to help us understand his love for us and ours for him. he gave it to us to PRACTICE this love...in both directions. when everything is as it was intended (this occurs approximately 43 minutes per year in our house) my jesus relationship should constantly be informing and dictating my devotion to and love of jesse, and my marriage relationship should constantly be pointing me back to jesus and acting out a perfect christ-minded unity. like two mirrors face to face reflecting back to infinity. 

christian marriage isnt just LIKE the kingdom of heaven. when we give christ the centrality and sovereignty over our marriage that he intended, asks for and deserves, it actually IS the kingdom of heaven. 

mind: blown.

having my 2 wedding anniversaries within a day of each other is an awesome reminder for me every year of the high standard my marriage is called to and of the even more perfect promise of christ to come. it is also fun to talk about my "first marriage" and my "second marriage" happening concurrently like i'm some kind of polygamizing banshee.

happy 7 years of hilarious, face-meltingly weird, ass-achingly hard, and yet totally worth it earthly marriage, jesse! i love you