Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Over the Rainbow

"Somewhere over the rainbow..." So begins one of the best-known songs in America. What is it that draws us to this song? The catchy tune? The imagery portrayed? The fact that it's been around for 70 years? Or is it the longing in the lyrics? "...way up high, there's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby..."

I'm currently reading a fiction book about three sisters who leave their homeland of Sweden in search of a better life in America. Yet the land they imagined flowing with milk and honey continues to show them hardship and trials.

Why are we never content where we are? In both small things and big things, we each want something to change. Growing up I was always looking forward -- school starting each fall, graduation, getting engaged, my wedding day, my baby's birth...

Even with Abby, I find myself thinking ahead to when she'll be able to get around on her own and I won't have to entertain her so much myself, or when she can talk and tell me what she wants or what hurts, or when she doesn't have to rely on me for all her food and diaper changes.

But if I'm not careful, the little things will slip on by. Already my daughter is 5 months old. I don't want to miss a thing. The little laughs and smiles. The 20 times she rolls over in a day. The look on her face when she tries a new food. The way her head snuggles next to mine as she drifts off to sleep.

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Matthew 6:34 The Message)

"...birds fly over the rainbow, why oh why can't I?" Because if I did, I'd miss the joys that are only found on this side of the rainbow...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

how does your garden grow?

Did you know many European homes do not have lawns? Neither front lawns nor back lawns?

They have gardens instead.

I got my package of bulbs in the mail today that I've been waiting anxiously for the last month and a half. I got a catalog that had a $25 off coupon any purchase of $25 or more. So of course I bought 2 kinds of bulbs, totaling $24.99. I only paid shipping.

So I am excited to get out and take another look at the area around my front porch and front side of the house, think about what I did and didn't like this year, and weed and move bulbs accordingly.

Then I look at our front lawn and cringe. The previous owners of our home didn't take care of the lawn. In fact there was no landscaping whatsoever around the house. So I was excited to start with a fresh slate, and this summer I was mostly pleased with the perennials and annuals I'd planted. But the poor lawn. It needs help. The good grass only grows in little round patches, and in between are patches of bad grass and weeds. And a lot of it is brown. Granted, we didn't water it as often as we probably could have, and it's been awhile since it's been mowed. I'm hoping by putting down some fall weed & feed, and getting a jumpstart on weed control and fertilizer in the spring, it'll be better next year.

But in the meantime, I envy my European distant relatives. This picture is from the backyard of one of Rocky's cousin-aunt-removed-something-or-other who we visited when we were in the Netherlands a couple years ago. Her front yard is just as amazing.

Maybe next year I should just forget about having a lawn...

Friday, October 8, 2010

The artistic spirit of a 4-month-old...

The new bumGenius Artist Series of cloth diapers posted a very thought-provoking question:

How do you encourage a creative, artistic spirit in your baby, toddler or young child?

I thought this was an interesting question since my daughter is only four months old, so I have yet to really see much creativity from her... I thought I could change the question around a bit and answer how I will encourage her, through activities such as enrolling her in library book programs or praising the childish artwork she creates someday.

But then I realized that even at four months old -- really since before she was even born -- my husband and I have been encouraging her to develop a love for music. Rocky plays guitar and piano, I play the drums, and we both sing. Even when Abby was still in the womb she loved to hear her daddy play piano (seriously, I loved to watch my belly dance around while he played!). This picture is actually from the day we came home from the hospital.

We have often joked that our biggest fear is that she will be tone-deaf... We both have such a love for music (Rocky has even written a handful of songs for our church), that we can't imagine having a daughter who can't even carry a tune in a bucket...

But I suppose if that becomes the case, we'll just have to find another outlet for her creativity (sidewalk chalk maybe?)...

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