Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Will Never...

If I could give you a bit of advice? Don't utter the words, "I will never..." when in comes to parenting.

Or, on second thought--do. Then you'll have something to laugh about later.

When Brad and I discovered that we were having twin girls, we vowed not to dress them alike.

At first, I think it was because we feared not being able to tell them apart. Then, it became about wanting them to be individuals, and treating them as such.

Two Sundays ago, it was a gorgeous day, so we decided to take the girls to the park.

As we were swinging, I could see it coming. She was smiling in our direction, she wanted to get our attention. And then, the question.
Lady: Are they twins?
Ugh! For whatever reason, I was not feeling particularly gracious that day. I pasted a fake grin on my face while my husband, graciously, answered:
He's so good at being succinct.

But, the lady wasn't satisfied, she had to comment:
Good thing you had a boy and a girl.
My fake grin is now gone, and I'm glaring. Brynne and Hadley both had pink on, and their cute little Pedipeds.

Again, my gracious husband to the rescue:
Actually, they are both girls. 
Lady: Oh, yeah, I guess I didn't see their shoes. 
As we're walking away, I tell Brad that I guess it's not a "good thing" anymore since we didn't have a boy and a girl. Really?! What kind of a comment is that?!

We walk around the corner, to get away from that lady, and we are accosted stopped by another lady.

It was like Groundhog Day. Sonny and Cher's, I Got You Babe, was cuing up again.
Lady: Are they twins?
Gracious husband: Yes
Lady: A boy and a girl?
Are you kidding me?! I think I might have audibly groaned.
Gracious husband: Two girls.
Lady: They are so beautiful (at least she felt bad about calling my daughter a boy!)

The next day I had to go to Target to get a few things. I decided, against our vowing and my I will nevers, that I would dress the girls identically.

I did this because, I just couldn't be gracious to one. more. person. who asked me if my two daughters, who are, clearly, the same age and size, are twins. AND, if this, well meaning, probably an old grandma, so much as thought that one of them was a boy, I might have punched her.

So, there you have it. I caved. My girls were twinkies for a day. And you know? It wasn't so bad.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Snow Covered Thankfulness

537. Neighbor's willow tree glowing green.

538. Flower buds and leaves on the lilac bush.

539. Prints from A Happy Exchange for the girls' room.

540. Corresponding with Jillian from A Happy Exchange.

541. Completing the wall in the girls' changing room.

542. Creating.

543. Finishing the eye chart.

544.Second trip to Target with no Hadley tears.

545, Picture frames on sale.

546. Hadley holding my hand and walking through Target for a few moments.

547. Brynne vomit and tears instead of choking.

548, Running on the bike trail with the girls.

549. Brynne loving to have her back rubbed.

550. Hadley resting in our bed after she finished nursing.

551. Brad surprising us by taking half a day off.

552. Unpredictable weather.

553. The surprise of snow on the ground on a Friday morning in March.

554. Big, fluffy snowflakes floating down from the sky.

555. Snow covered hyacinths and daffodils.

556. Snow to water, protect and nourish new transplants.

557. Snowy Saturday with nowhere to be.

558. Redbud tree covered with blossoms and snow.

holy experience

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Your Soul is Alive!

"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy,

if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you,

if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive..."

~Eleonora Duse--Italian actress

Friday, March 25, 2011

For His Glory Alone: True Beauty Conversations

My friend Melissa and I are continuing our conversation about Beauty this morning. We've been talking about True Beauty through a series of letters on Fridays: What is Beauty? What will we tell our daughters about Beauty? We're so glad you're joining us. We would love to hear from you!________________________________________________

Dearest Julia,

Let me be honest; your last letter provoked an initial reaction from me that was extremely negative. I sat down and tried to justify why I did not want to hear your message. I even made a list of excuses:

  • One bottle of fancy wrinkle cream + one tube of mascara + one box of permanent hair dye = enough money to feed, clothe, and give a Compassion Child the gift of hearing the gospel for a whole month!
  • I'm a bit of a hippie outdoorsy type who, somewhat, shuns beauty products. I wash my hair with baking soda and vinegar. I moisturize and protect my body from sunburn with coconut oil. I've never had a pedicure or manicure in my life.
  • I want my daughters to be little girls for as long as possible. I want them to be smearing lipstick around their whole mouth while prancing around in dress up clothes and mommy's heels at eight, or even 10 years of age!
  • I want them turning cartwheels and climbing trees in their "princess dresses" while hosting a tea party with friends. 
  • I want to talk to them more about the beauty of a heart filled with the Fruits of the Spirit than about how to shave their legs, or what styles flatter their shape.
But the truth is, the reason I reacted so violently toward your post is because, I'm so sinfully prideful that I should weep in repentance.

Because, if I'm truly honest, I reacted the way I did because of my own scars:
  • The laughter of my sister and her friend as she mocked my "Bert and Ernie" eyebrows. I love my sister dearly and have forgiven her, but the mere mention of my eyebrows needing maintenance still incites me to tears or frustrated anger.
  • Compliments only when I dress a certain way, blow dry my hair, and put on make-up: luxuries I rarely have time to complete. Not to mention that 80% of my clothing either has spit-up stains or little girl hand smudges. What about every other day? Am I only pretty when I invest a precious 45 minutes in primping?  
  • All my girlfriends abandoning me and my imaginary play by the time I was 10. There was no one to play Laura Ingalls in the woods, or organize a synchronized swimming routine, or cook decorated mud pies with. No, all my friends wanted to do was talk about boys, make-up, fashion, and do each others' hair or nails.
Learn from Seventeen Magazine the disciplines required to be beautiful. The ways to dress. The ways to attract boys. The things that I could never do well enough to have one. single. success.

Yes, these scars played hard into my reaction to your thoughts.

But you spoke truth. If I don't teach my daughters how to care from their bodies, who will? Seventeen Magazine? Well meaning friends? Hormone driven boys? Health class?

I would do well to heed your words. 

I would do well to teach my daughters how to care for their bodies, the very temples of the Holy Spirit.

Yet, there may still be a warning hidden in my own negative reaction to your words:

Even if I teach my girls to wear what flatters them,
Even if I'm the one who shows them how to shave their legs, apply make-up, style their hair,
Even if I teach them how to how to swim laps to keep their bodies strong,

if I miss teaching their hearts to wear beauty for His Glory alone,

then I have failed. 

Life isn't about presenting ourselves perfectly beautiful. Life is about finding our true value, our True Beauty, in the sacrifice of Christ. His love by dying on the cross is what shows us that we are beautiful. He alone gives us that worth. No amount of applying make-up or dressing well, can ever do anything more to make us beautiful than what he has already done. It's all grace.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dear Harvard,


I realize that the freshman class of 2028 may not be on your radar just yet, but I wanted to keep you apprised of two little girls that you are really going to want at your university. In fact, I would go so far as to say that you should go ahead and put them on your waiting list, right now.

You might be wondering how I can make such a bold statement when my girls are just north of a year. I'm happy to explain.

Parenting Magazine came out with a great checklist in their April 2011 issue to determine if your child is gifted, or just smart. This list gives me and thousands of other mamas the opporunity to determine that my daughters are gifted, just like that!

I know you need evidence. I've compiled a summary of my findings below:
  1. The girls have impressive memories. Hadley only had to be shown one time how to blow kisses sign "thank you".
  2. They both have great, very sophisticated senses of humor. Burps and toots don't result in so much as a smile.
  3. They play intensely. They will pour over puzzles and books for hours.
  4. They have unbounded intellectual energy. They will tirelessly try to figure out how things work.
  5. They are great problem solvers too. Brynne will look at a toy under the couch from every angle before determining the best method of retrieval
  6. They are self-starters--they practically teach themselves!
  7. They have great creative instincts--they love making music and love to dance with or without music.
I can now say, with absolute certainty, that my daughters are geniuses. It really would be in your best interest to snatch them up before it's too late.


Julia Jenkins

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The "M" Word

Is there a word that just absolutely don't like makes you shudder and cringe every time you hear it uttered?

I have one. M-O-I-S-T.

It makes me kinda gag to type it.

If there was one word Mr. Webster could have left out of his dictionary, that was it.

Pair the "m" word with a certain ladies undergarment that begins with a "p", and I just might throw up on you.

There are several things that really stink about the "m" word:

1. It is everywhere! Case in point, see below:

Watch a cooking show--you hear the "m" word about 54 times!

2. There's just not another good way to describe cakes and breads that are not dry.

I gave my friend a loaf of apple bread I had baked. She sent me a text to say that it was "wet and delicious". God love her!

3. It's easy for my husband to use the "m" word on a daily basis.

Me:  Did the girls need their diapers changed?
Brad:  The girls' diapers were only slightly "m".

Me:  What do you think of the salad we had for dinner?
Brad:  It was so "m"!

Me:  Is it raining outside?
Brad:  It's very "m" outside.

       Ugh. Jerk! (I mean that in the nicest, "I love you very much" way possible)

What about you? Do you have an "m" word?

Monday, March 21, 2011

St. Patty's Thanks

512. Two new members of the gratitude community.

513. Moonlight casting bright shadows through our bedroom.

514. Playdate with Kris.

515. Sister love.

516. Finding shoes I love in my size!

517. New clothes.

518. Competing against Brad with our NCAA tourney brackets.

519. Snow and 83 degrees all in one week.

520. St. Patty's Day.

521. Two girls in green.

522. Windows open.

523. Girls in green, eating their dinner outside.

524. Dining outside with Brad

525. Basking in moonglow.

526. Listening to the frogs sing.

527. Hyacinths unfurling their petals.
If I had two loaves of bread, I would sell one and buy hyacinths, for they would feed my soul.
~The Koran

528. Daffodils opening the same day.

529. Hadley giggles as she rolls down the hill.

530. Brynne officially walking.

531. Brynne's funny faces.

532. Independent Hadley needing her mama to hold her sometimes.

533. Drinks with Kate.

534. Illinois basketball to occupy our husbands, so that we could go out for drinks.

535. Playing in the dirt.

536. A husband who watches the girls, so that his wife can get dirty!

holy experience

Friday, March 18, 2011

Avoiding the Scars and Smears: True Beauty Conversations

My friend Melissa and I are continuing our conversation about Beauty this morning. We've been talking about True Beauty through a series of letters on Fridays: What is Beauty? What will we tell our daughters about Beauty? We're so glad you're joining us.

Dear Melissa,

I want to be very careful in this space where we write.

Only speak words that make souls stronger.

I don't want to judge anyone for making a personal choice to undergo breast augmentation or get a Botox injection. I read this deep and rich post this week, and I feel the need to say that.

I put on make-up. I use products on my face to keep blemishes and lines away. I pluck, tweeze, and will soon be dying the ever-multiplying grey hairs on my head. I work out to keep the size of my thighs and behind respectable.

It's no different.

I use those products, yank out/color hair, and get my sweat on to enhance what God gave me. To make myself attractive to my husband, and to make myself presentable to the world.

I think part of being a Proverbs 31 woman is enhancing what God gives us--whatever that means for you. This is a careful balance, but one, I believe, is important to share with our daughters.

Please follow me over at Melissa's to continue reading.

St. Patrick's Day

We hope you all have a fabulous holiday yesterday! We enjoyed this lovely, 83 degree day, by, among other things, dining outside.

I realize this is not our first St. Patrick's Day, as the bibs suggest, but in the interest of being festive, I busted them out again.

Last year we were SO little. We really didn't get to enjoy them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Couple Quick Things

Just a couple things for your Wednesday. Then, after you read this, you should go outside, because it is gorgeous! Even if it's not, where you are, you should go outside anyway---the spring air is good for the soul.

1. Recently, Kate at Mommy Monologues posted a funny blog titled, Popular Searches that led to my blog--what the heck? I've had a couple pretty funny ones pop up lately, so I thought I'd share.
  • Mom duck tapes baby to chair. I do have babies, and I DO love me some duck tape, but I'm really not sure I've ever actually said the word "chair" in my blog---oops, I just did.
  • Worms in children. Ew. The girls do not have worms. They have never had worms. We've been a little busy to go fishing, and, while I do garden, I don't make it a point of discussing how many worms I run into, or slice in half with my spade (ew, again). Pretty positive I've never had a reason to use the word "worm" until this post, in which case I've typed it out five times (you're counting right now, aren't you?).
  • Lynda Carter, Wonder Woman. I did use a picture of Wonder Woman in my duck tape post. Who knew tape could be so inspirational?!
  • Amber teething necklace. We love these!
  • Hazelaid Discount Codes. This leads me to my next point.
2. Hazelaid (the company from whom I bought the Baltic amber teething necklaces) is offering my readers 10% off. Just enter discount code twinmom10 at checkout. This code is located on the right sidebar of my blog, and there's no expiration date for it.
A few people have reported back to me that the product they were interested in is sold out. The company often gets shipments in. I will make a point of letting you know when they get in a new shipment on Pontifications of a Twin Mom facebook page or--you can like Hazelaid on facebook.

See you later, we're going outside to play!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time Change Thankfulness

491. When I take the dogs outside, seeing this in the window:

492. Brooke reading to Hadley.

493. Hugs from Brynne.

494. Blood orange olive oil.

495. Getting to the post office twice in one week by myself with the girls.

496. Hadley giggling at the world upside-down.

497. Impromptu trip to the park.

498. Fish fry.

499. The girls loving fish.

500. First successful dining out experience with the girls in high chairs.

501. Dining out at a casual place where the girls' fun and giggles went unnoticed.

502. Spending time with friends at the fish fry.

503. Two kinds of chocolate pie.

504. Cousins playing together.

505. Girls slurping up spicy noodles.

506. Seeing the reason for plans not working out last weekend.

507. Sneaky Brynne walking when she thinks no one is looking.

508. Weathering the time-change beautifully.

509. Toasting to a successful "spring forward" with a great bottle of wine.

510. Having a husband who looks up new recipes and prepares them to perfection.

511. Watching snow pour from the sky, and cling to everything it touches.

holy experience

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Woman who Fears the LORD: True Beauty Conversations

Hello and welcome! Melissa and I are continuing our conversation about True Beauty this morning. We've been talking about Beauty through a series of letters on Fridays: What is Beauty? What will we tell our daughters about Beauty? We are so glad you're joining us!


Dearest Julia,

As you know, I am a first generation Christian.  No one else in my family has a personal, grace-filled relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  My parents are wonderful hard-working people who reared me, an independent strong-willed know it all, to the best of their very loving ability.

But they do not know the Lord. As I was growing up, they were not able to preach the gospel to me with their lives and words.

So as a first-generation Christian, I often stumble on scripture and have no clue how it should look in practice.  Sometimes it's a cultural problem: I don't understand the cultural context surrounding the passage. Other times I stumble because a passage seems completely impossible to live out: I'm over come by self-condemnation.

When you wrote that you wanted to have conversations with your daughters that showed them:

"What it means to be beautiful.

Who we think is beautiful.

What it is about that individual that makes them beautiful."

I suddenly began thinking about one of those passages that I have stumbled on both culturally and with self-condemnation.  The passage that I did not want to be the one to address during this series came into a sudden focus.

Proverbs 31:10-31  

This Proverbs 31 woman seems so perfect.  She spins, weaves fabric, runs a little side business, cares for the less fortunate, and has a husband and children who bless and praise her.  She gets everything right and even does some things that defy the cultural norm (buying land!) to benefit her family.

She's so perfect that she intimidates me.

I've always felt that I could never be like her.

But right there at the end of the passage the key to how this woman attains such success is quietly tucked:

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

But a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised."

And it was when I was reading that last part ("a woman who fears the LORD") when everything finally clicked for me.

I know this woman.

I see her three times a week.

Her name is Carol.

And she's not Mrs. Perfect who proudly has it all together.  True, she accomplishes a lot; Carol's wrap sheet, if you will, is quite impressive.  In fact, within the 7 days before I wrote this, my Proverbs 31 lady has:

  • counseled a friend
  • baked cookies for 30+ 5th Graders
  • mentored and ministered to 2 of those 5th Graders
  • baked Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese (mmm!) frosting for workers serving in the nursery.
  • served two services in the toddler nursery
  • more than likely read a book aloud to her granddaughter on the phone
  • led a group of ladies in a Bible study accountability group
  • made meals, washed laundry, and otherwise faithfully served her husband
  • restocked her pantry because she'd made so many meals for others that she was running low on food
  • hugged so many people that she's probably lost count
Carol sounds pretty great doesn't she?

She might even sound like we could never rise to her standards, just like the Proverbs 31 woman.

Yet, Carol isn't proud of these things.  You would never once hear her boast of them.  No, indeed, you'd never hear Carol boast of anything except the Lord Jesus Christ, whom she fears (or is in awe of, if you prefer).  Her list of accomplishments accumulates because she loves the Lord.

Carol weeps openly over her sin.  She cries with those who mourn.  Her eyes pour forth rivers of joyous gratitude. Because she loves the Lord, Carol delights to love and serve others.  She serves others because, in the death and resurrection of her Lord, she has found the purpose for living: Bringing glory to the One who deserves all glory and honor and praise.

Carol is one of the most beautiful women I know.

Does she meet the cultural standard of beauty here in America.
Probably not.

Her white hair, her lovely wrinkled laugh lines, and her ever-present cane are practically the antithesis of the Clairol-ed hair, Botox-ed wrinkles, and fantastically fit bodies that our culture worships.

But, Carol loves the Lord Jesus in such a way that her spirit shines with the Image of God, living its full, beautiful purpose.

And that is what I want to tell my daughters is True Beauty.

That Beauty is what I hope I can embody one day as a daughter of the most Beautiful King.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We Are So Glad You've Come

Do you ever reflect on your life and your chest feels so full of love/gladness/joy that you think it just might explode?

Maybe I'm the only one.

Sometimes I become overwhelmed with the blessing:

My handsome, hardworking husband who serves me so selflessly.
My bright, curious daughters.
Things growing green in the dark earth.

I stop and give thanks. I write it down---that moment, that feeling, that gift. I want to remember, to give thanks over and over. I want to relive the joy.

When I was 27 I laid in a hospital bed on a ventilator for the better part of a month.

You're supposed to get mono as a kid--kissing boys and drinking after your friends.

I waited.

There were times when I hung onto life by threads.

I don't remember most of it---a blessing.

When I came through to the other side, I thought:
My life still has purpose on this earth. I wonder what God has in store for me that he spared my life.
I haven't thought about that experience for a long time. After it happened, I felt like I was supposed to have some sort of revelation or do a complete life-overhaul, but normalcy returned and time kept marching.

It occurred to me today---one big duh/aha moment.

Here is my purpose. Right here. I'm living it. God kept me around for all of this.

Wife to Brad.
Mama to Brynne and Hadley.

I bet those plants sure are glad I stuck around!

For the girls' first birthday they were given the book On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier about how Earth ushers in and cradles new life. Really, I think it's been more a gift for me. You can't help but feel significant when you read it.

I love this book!

The last few lines of the book go like this:
And as they held you close
they whispered into your open, curving ear,
"We are so glad you've come!" 
Today, as I picked up my babbling daughters from their cribs, still warm with sleep, my chest felt full. I whispered into their curving ears,
"We are so glad you've come!"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I know you've all been holding your breath, waiting to hear if you won one of the six Lil Rinsers. Thank you to for choosing these six winners. Without further ado, the winners are:
  1. Stacey @ Ramblings of a Stay at Home Mom
  2. Katie @ Once Upon a Time
  3. Leslie @ HahsHousehold
  4. Wendy @ The Singing House
  5. Summar
  6. Erica @ PFM
Congrats to the winners! I'll be contacting you each individually.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces: My Report

A couple weeks ago the Baltic amber necklaces I ordered from Hazelaid arrived in the mail.

Our girls were having a really hard time with teething. It seemed like they were popping teething tablets like candy and being dosed with ibuprofen 2-3 times a day!

Of course I didn't want the girls to be uncomfortable, but I also didn't love medicating them so much. I'd read a lot about using Baltic amber necklaces for teething pain, and finally decided to give it a whirl.

I figured---with all we were spending on ibuprofen---we had nothing to lose!

Four days after they arrived, I mentioned that I had noticed a decreased need for teething tablets and ibuprofen. I wanted to give it more time, before I had an official opinion about them.

Now I can say with confidence, I'm ready to report!

Since their arrival, the girls have worn them around the clock, taking them off only for baths.

Brynne has two pointy canine teeth thisclose to popping through. Her gums are very swollen and bumpy as she is also cutting her one-year molars.

Hadley had one tooth pop through, and is working on two more.

All that crazy, uncomfortable tooth growing is going on, and you know something? You can hardly even tell!

We've used ibuprofen a few times since we got the necklaces, and we've used teething tablets only slightly more than that.

Hadley typically runs a low-grade fever while she's teething. Her temp, since we got the necklaces, has been a balmy 98.3 degrees.

To all you skeptics, I will say this: I was skeptical.

I had no idea how a necklace was going to help with teething pain, but I was desperate open-minded enough to give it a shot, and I'm so, so glad that I did!

The amber is worn against the skin, causing natural oils, with succinic acid in them, to be absorbed into the skin. Succinic acid is the magic ingredient that has anti-inflammatory agents and is a natural pain reliever. The Milk & Butter amber has the highest levels of succinic acid. When I was ready to order, they were out of stock, so I went with the next best, which is Lemon.

The proof is in the pudding for me. I'm totally sold on these necklaces--they work, or at least help out a ton!

I've had a few people question me about the safety of leaving them on the girls all the time. I will say three things about that:
  1. Each bead is individually knotted, so if the necklace breaks, beads won't spill out everywhere for them to choke on or ingest.
  2. The necklaces aren't long enough for them to get into their mouths. Hazelaid recommends 12 inch necklaces for 0-3 years. If you're really uncomfortable with necklaces, they have bracelets and anklets too.  
  3. The girls really don't mess with their necklaces. The stones should be against the skin to work, so they are often tucked inside the shirt they are wearing.  
If you have any questions---feel free to ask me, or go to Hazelaid's website. You can read more about how the amber works, check out sizing and read testimonials from lots of other people who think this Baltic amber stuff is pretty cool too.

Also--if browsing turned to buying, "like" on facebook. They often list discount codes that you can apply to your order.

*Hazelaid did not ask me to write this--and I am getting absolutely nothing from them for doing so. It was the company I placed my order with---they have great customer service, a great selection of products to choose from, and I couldn't be happier with the necklaces!

Mardi Gras Thanks

461. Field white with frost, sparkling in the early morning sun.

462. Not hitting the large deer in the middle of the road.

463. Planning out flowers to divide in the garden.

464. More green in the garden.

465. Smiles from baby Jude.

466. Reading a book to Isaiah.

467. Chatting with Alice.

468. Discovering that my hair has curl.

469. Brynne finally drinking whole milk.

470. Breaking up with the breast pump.

471. Not having the pump on my bedside table anymore!

472. Three extra days with Brad.

473. Brad teaching the girls how to listen to the ocean.

474. Inspiration to create.

475. Going to Michael's for supplies.

476. Having words to paint.

477. New grill.

478. Open windows.

479. Babies babbling out open windows at the dogs.

480. Going for a walk with the girls.

481. Thunderstorms.

482. Uninterrupted sleep.

483. Two girls sitting quietly looking at books first thing in the morning.

484. Watching the girls ride in a double shopping cart for the first time.

485. Finding a shirt that has been missing for over a year.

486. Calzones.

487. Fellowship.

488. Playing in the basement with the girls.

489. Babies peering out the window.

490. Got milk?

holy experience

Friday, March 4, 2011

What About Our Daughters?: True Beauty Conversations

On Fridays, my friend, Melissa, and I are exploring True Beauty through a series of letters. Please join us as we continue the conversation. This topic is so rich, and strikes a chord with most women. We look forward to hearing your thoughts as we continue to delve in!


Oh, how your words resonated with me last week.

Truth definitely plays a game of hide and seek with me when I get into the swimming pool. And peering into the mirror in a dressing room trying on swimsuits?! Fahgetaboutit!

I often fret, Melissa, about the messages I will communicate to my daughters in those moments when I feel inadequate. The moments when truth alludes me.

My best friend growing up lived just a few doors away. We played together often. One day when I went to her house, she informed me that she was on a diet; she thought she needed to lose weight. She encouraged me to join her on this diet.

We were eight years old.

This memory stands out so vividly to me, because before that moment, I never knew there was anything wrong with me. I didn't know to critique the size or shape of my body.

It wasn't my friend's fault. Her mother was constantly dieting and spoke openly about all the ways she was dissatisfied with her appearance. It was no surprise, then, that my friend followed suit, even at her young age. Her ears were assailed with that kind of talk.

I don't want my daughters to have an experience like my friend did, hearing their mama express constant displeasure with her body.

Inevitably, my daughters, and your daughters, Melissa, will reach an awareness that they are different.

My desire and prayer for our girls is that they celebrate their differences. Delight in being daughters of The King.

How can we foster this, Melissa?

Please follow me over here to read the rest of my letter.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The End

"I just can't do this anymore," I said as as I sat down on our bed with a heavy sigh. The words caught in my throat. It was so wrenching, I could hardly believe I uttered them out loud.

It was, at the same time, cathartic to get it out there.

Yesterday I called a friend to tell her that I was done. Finished. Her response was, "It's about time."

Yes, it is, "about time".

I went through the whole gamete of emotions getting to this place, to the place where I could utter those words. I feel like an extension of myself is dying, being ripped away.

He knows me so intimately.

Our relationship has been rocky for some time. Forced. Tired. I was just delaying the inevitable.

Part of me feels bad. He has been so encouraging to me. Truthfully, I could have never done it without him.

Mr. Reliable.

His rhythmic breathing lulled me to sleep each night, promising to be there for me.

Steady and strong when I was truly and utterly exhausted.

The other part of me, though, is relieved.

It's been this love/hate thing for awhile now.

I know that sounds callous, and insensitive, but we all need to move on.

It's time to move on.

Mama is ready to sleep through the night!

13 months. 393 days.

Peace out, breast pump.