Wednesday, February 28, 2007

and more miscellaneous cuteness

more photo booth

on the way home from whistler we also stopped at regent college, where we ran into suzy. we had fun taking pictures of ourselves on her fancy new computer. noah also got to meet suzy's roommate joshua, who apparently is very taken with our little boy. here they are together:

whistler weekend 2007!

last weekend we had a lovely time in whistler, bc, with most of aaron's family. it was really relaxing, fun and wonderful to be in the snow! we stayed at a fancy-schmancy condo (a bandstra work connection) and somehow aaron, noah and i lucked out with the master bedroom. the condo had its own hot tub, tv with cable (!), a fireplace, fancy appliances, big bath tubs, etc., etc. it was great. here's the view from our master bedroom deck:

and to the right, if you strain, you can see the ski lifts:

noah and aaron out front:

noah had a bath in the kitchen sink.

here's noah reading in the living room with grandpa and dad:

but the best part was cross-country skiing, of course! we rented a baby glider ski pulk for noah, and he seemed really comfortable in it. in fact, he zonked right away, slept for maybe an hour, and then woke up and peeked around for the rest of the ride. we all took turns pulling the pulk, which was a lot easier than i'd expected. i think when we buy one of our own, we'll definitely go with the baby glider brand. having just one rigid pole makes maneuvering really easy, and it seemed like the sled was a lot more stable than two skiis would have been. and there was lots of room for storage.

and on the way home, we couldn't resist a family trip to ikea.

aaron digging through the bargain bin. (he tried to convince me to let him build a couch, and use ikea covers for the cushions...)

noah doing donuts in the parking lot

happy first birthday, jessa!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

invitation to a holy lent

Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful, were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.

I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word.

--Book of Common Prayer, from the service for Ash Wednesday

ash wednesday snuck up on me this year. it's been a busy week, full of rain and babysitting and visitors, and aaron walking around with a patch on his eye, spilling things. making it to church on time last night for the ash wednesday service felt like just one more thing to do, hurriedly. and even during the service, which is full of time for contemplation, full of beautiful words to mull over, full of heavy symbolism--i couldn't concentrate. i found myself thinking about noah, about how funny-looking he is now with his gappy little teeth. or about aaron, about how hard he works for our family and how much i want him to be happy. or about the unknowns in our future--where to live, whether or not to try to buy a house, how little money we have, whether i will ever find a part-time career. i did not catch myself in self-examination, considering my sins and moving toward repentance. i did not find myself pondering the beginning of the forty days christ spent in the wilderness, or how those forty days led to christ's crucifixion.

i did find myself thinking about how at the end of lent this year, noah and i will be visiting friends and family in new england. and i remembered that at the end of lent last year, my son was born.

which do not seem like the contemplations of a holy lent.

contemplation is not a big part of my life these days. instead, my focus is on the physical: wiping noah's bum and rubbing cream on his diaper rash, cutting his tiny fingernails, feeding him small bites of mushy food, wiping his hands and face, taking him for walks, pointing out the trucks and birds and rain, nursing him, hugging him, laughing with him. i like this physical world. it's very comfortable and very rewarding. it's hard sometimes to see how the suffering of christ fits in.

but i guess lent doesn't have to be just about suffering. i like the line from above that says the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith. i like the idea that lent, like all the seasons of the church, exists "to put in mind" a message to the congregation, and i totally understand how we need for these seasons to happen every year, because we forget their messages so quickly.

christina and scott gave us this book for christmas, and i finally opened it up the other night. i couldn't put it down! tolstoy's writing is beautiful, but his faith is more moving. his characters are honest, simple people, whose sins, worries and frustrations are so similar to mine. but his message, again and again, in different stories and told through different characters, is one of pardon and absolution. it is the very message lent is meant to put us in mind of. his characters remind me "of the need which all christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith." and they give me hope that renewal is possible.

Monday, February 12, 2007

little snoozer

swim lessons!

last night noah had his first ever swim lesson. our friends jen, toby and quin (who's about 18 months) invited us to take the lessons with them at the local aquatic center. it's called "parent-child swim," and both aaron and i went in the water with noah. we were a little nervous about how he would react, since lately bathtime has been a huge ordeal. but as soon as he got comfortable in the water, he loved it! he splashed and kicked (little frog kicks utilizing his great back-arching abilities), floated (with our help) on his belly and his back, and jumped in (with our help) from the sides. he seemed really happy the whole time. it was great. we're excited for next week!

noah wanted to touch quin's wet hair. quin wasn't too excited about that.

slumber party!

we had a great slumber party last weekend with jess and andrew thistlethwaite and maryka lier. maryka just moved to "wally" in seattle and is saving the forests. it was great to see her, and we're looking forward to heading south sometime for a tour of the big city. (it was fun to hang with two other redheads too!)

maryka carried noah for a walk into town saturday night

here's the "slumber" part of the party

we walked down the whatcom creek trail to the falls by maritime heritage park

it was really windy! (i love noah's thin white hair flying in the breeze)

jess, maryka and i got coffee and croissants at mount bakery

on the porch

the last few days have been wonderfully warm and sunny, and we've started spending more time hanging out on the porch. here's noah after we got home from the library on friday.

and here he is happily watching his daddy arrive home for lunch!

Saturday, February 10, 2007


more eating!

i think maybe this was pears and oatmeal.

i love his little neck!

not so good?

okay, now it's good.

and now we are DONE.