Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Will become, becoming, became. Promise and fulfillment at once.
In this season when we celebrate the incarnation of our Lord, I have found myself more and more surrendering to introspect. It would seem that marriage and motherhood takes the simplest of women and renders them either hopeful philosophers or bitter cynics.
I purpose to be the former.
When I look back at the few past years, I have to marvel at all God has done in our lives. In a moment that feels like yesterday, we pledged our love to one another for this lifetime, and since then, the love that shone between us has been polished to a brighter gleam. A year ago at this time, (by my best calendar estimate) our dear Sean, though known only to our maker, had become a soul destined to join our family and bring us such joy.
Motherhood inspires such a passion for life that I fail to articulate. I love to gaze at my baby boy's face, in wonder at every intricate facet of his sweet form and dear personality. Cupid's bow is pressed gently into Sean's rosebud lips, while his eyelids flutter with the wind of his dreams. Every diaper I change, every wail I soothe, every load of soiled laundry I wash and fold, brings me a step closer in this task of forming a future man, and that reality leaves me in awe of the beautiful responsibility Ridge and I now carry.
My husband has loved me so well. His provision, protection, companionship, and devotion are more than I could have ever imagined in girlhood daydreams. Ridge asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and I've had a difficult time deciding. Of course, there are myriad lovely things I might desire, but all pale in comparison of what I already have: him. His voice cheers me, his smile warms me, his presence comforts me tenfold of what it did before. We have been through what I consider quite a bit for just over a year of marriage, and though the actual honeymoon may be over, I am happy to say that my heart still races when I get his call on his way home from work, and I look forward to every morning that brings us a new day together.
I am so thankful to have such a wonderful husband, a beautiful baby, a dear family and family-in-love, old friends, new church, and.......
a house that, if all goes well, we close on December 31st.
Just another blessing I thought I'd mention. :-)
But most of all, I have a Savoir.
Not a pompous and arbitrary god, but the Almighty Creator who lowered himself to give us what we would never reach for, a salvation from that which we neither knew nor cared was our destruction. Quietly he clothed himself in our mortal flesh, to live among us and call us his own. He is the gift from which all others stem.
Let heaven and earth rejoice, for our Redeemer and King has come!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Then, last night, while Ridge was editing video footage with Rem, I decided to take some more pictures of Bug in the bedroom. For not having much of a clue as to what I was doing, some turned out surprisingly well.
Why yes, I am obsessed with my baby- why do you ask?
p.s. to Mom and Dad: I'll give you guys copies of these tomorrow. :-)
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
He's also a very expressive little man. Sean has begun to give us genuine smiles and giggles, and thereby melting his Mommy and Daddy.
Just watching him makes me laugh. :-)
Yep. I'm in love.
Monday, October 17, 2011
It has been almost six weeks since Sean was born, and I feel so blessed that he is healthy; gaining weight and making developmental progress. He's getting quite the little tubby tummy, enjoys his baths, smiles fairly frequently, and is a champion snuggler. We are having fun learning what songs Sean likes, and, though he doesn't watch anything else, he stares so intently while we watch Mythbusters that I really think he recognizes their voices from when he was still an inside baby. My days with him are such a delight, and I am treasuring our time together.
Besides my son doing so well, I have enjoyed a speedy recovery from pregnancy and birth. In the course of these six weeks, I have become a firm believer in nursing on demand. It takes a lot of time, and it isn't always very convenient, but the great benefits we have both reaped far outweighs its disadvantages. For one thing, I have a jolly, contented little man whose cheeks and thighs have plumped out very nicely.
For another thing, I give most of the credit for my recovery to it. Breastfeeding makes me ravenously hungry, but it's also given me a metabolism approximate to that of a fifteen-year-old boy. It took only a few weeks for me to reach my prepregnancy weight, and now I weigh a little less than when we got married last October. So, even though I could still use to tone up, everything is back to where it was previously, and my closet is much more appealing to me.
Yet another benefit I've found in feeding on demand is just how stress free and relaxed I have been. I just feed him when he needs it; I don't have to worry about anything else. Of course, babies can be unpredictable, but if Sean gets hungry while we're in the Radio Shack parking lot, so be it. If I am in the middle of reorganizing the laundry room, oh well. It just works for us that way.
Well, that's all I have time to write today; I'll try to post more pictures of Sean soon!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
The fun thing about fall is that, when it comes to clothing, you can start to get really creative with layers and rich colors. Knits, cords, velveteens, and all the other lovely textures entice in a way no other fabrics can. And guess what?
Now I can take full advantage of them (or at least, as my budget permits).
I've recovered from pregnancy and birth pretty well so far; I never got stretch marks, and by the time two weeks had passed, I was within three pounds of my prepregnancy weight. Now it's just a matter of toning everything up again. I've had great fun playing dress up with my old clothes, and eyeing new pieces for my wardrobe.
Our little Sean seems to grow and change every day. I love it when we make eye contact and he responds to what I say. His favorite things to do include looking out the window, "talking" to Daddy, and snuggling in Mommy's soft robe. Sometimes, when something tickles his fancy, he'll even give a couple little giggles, and I think he knows that I live for his smile.
Am I smitten? You betcha.
We are excited to be planning a trip to Philipsburg celebrate our anniversary in October. I am looking forward to having Sean with us, and hopefully he'll be proof enough to the lady at the B&B that we were not running away from home last year (as she asked us when we checked in; she didn't think we looked old enough to be married).
Last year we made such happy memories, and this year we will make more, I am sure of it. :-)
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Throughout my pregnancy, labor, and birth, Ridge was there for me every step of the way. He took me to every appointment, helped me prepare for Sean, and gave me his emotional support the whole time.
He spent untold hours rubbing my back and trying to ease the pain of labor for me, held me while bent epidural needles were discarded, and caught our son as he came into this world.
Now, a few days into parenthood, Ridge is a fantastic father. He loves taking care of Sean, and relishes the occasional reward of a sleepy half-smile he gets in return. We enjoy just reclining on the bed, with our Bug between us, and admiring what God has given us in this first year of our marriage. Ridge has been showing Sean Rubik's cubes and music, and every day, when he comes home from work, he makes sure to go and give our Bug a kiss (after he's gotten to me, of course!).
I am so happy that we are finally starting our lives as a family, and that we are back to a good mixture of "real life," (bills, need I say more?) and jolliness.
There is a lot of kissing, laughter and love going on at this little home.
Monday, September 12, 2011
This here is why I've been tardy. Getting ready for Sean's arrival, a false alarm, and general late-pregnancy laziness are my best excuses for not writing more.
Our son was born weighing 6lb. 14oz., at 12:51, on Saturday morning. We're kinda tickled that he came on 9/10/11. His birth took some unexpected turns, as after experiencing an exhausting labor for nearly three days, we finally resorted to an epidural. I had been dead set on doing everything naturally, but with Sean being post-date, and after discovering that my back had become too tense for his head to be born, we decided that was our only remaining option.
Thankfully, God is good, even when things don't go quite as we expect.
Just after he was born, Sean had to be taken to the nursery because he was unresponsive and had gunk down in his lungs. The next day though, he was doing much better, and by Sunday night, he could stay in our room.
Now we are home, and the up-all-nights have begun.
So far, Sean has been doing great. He took to nursing so well, and is alert and inquisitive about everything around him, including the Rubik's cube mobile his Daddy made for him.
We love the little Mallery God blessed us with!
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I even got to swim a little, down at Wayfarer's Park (a site that is famous among Mallerys for marriage proposals, I have been enjoying the lake there since I was a little girl). Swimming when you are eight months pregnant is very different than at three or four months. At that point, no one could even tell; I hardly could myself. But now... well, let's just say I had to improvise a bit with the swimwear. A stretchy top, and a skirt I usually only wear to church became my ticket to the water. I may have looked like a runaway funeral attendant, but I got to get wet, and that's all that mattered. Some gals may be happy with wearing a bikini while pregnant, but, issues of modesty aside, the sight of my white, never-seen-the-sticky-side-of-a-wax-strip thighs is something I think all of humanity would gladly be spared of.
It goes without saying that I am looking forward to unpregnant swimwear next summer. In fact, I'm getting all giddy over unpregnant clothes, period. I can't wait to wear a pair of jeans that actually fit my rear end, not to mention dresses with a waistline!
Yesterday, I put away stacks of tiny diapers, and began filling out Sean's baby book, starting with the very first image we saw of him, at sixteen weeks. I hardly felt different at that point, but I'll never forget that overwhelming feeling, seeing a real human being, wiggling his arms and legs in there. Fearfully and wonderfully is what the king David described our fabrication as being, and to experience it first hand has made that truth so much more real to me. And if cravings suggest "what baby needs," it's good thing we confirmed the fact that our child is human, otherwise, I might have begun to think that we were baking a fruit cake in there, with all the fruit I've been eating.
Well, that's about all for now. I know I said there would be more pictures, but the one above is one that Ridge took, while we were out on one of our evening walks. If you haven't taken a walk at sunset lately, you really should.
Friday, August 12, 2011
This is a music video that Ridge filmed with his brothers & Mitch Underhill while I was out of town for the day. You can see that they have a lot of fun together.
We wrote the lyrics together last year, and it probably won't make a lot of sense. If you watch the original music video, ("Human," by the Killers) you might understand what Ridge wanted to get at here. His point is that, in an effort to sound philosophical, many artists have begun to just string together random thoughts and call it "music."
Anyway, hope you enjoy it!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Anyway, it's so hard to believe that I have only three more weeks (give or take a few days) until our little Snugmuffin is here with us. Preparing for labor. Getting my post-bump wardrobe ready (how I've missed those clothes!). Wrapping up the last few purchases for Sean.
As much as I'm looking forward to sleeping on my stomach and wearing pants that actually fit my tush, (among other things) I'm also enjoying these last weeks of having my son so close. It's so funny when he gets the hiccups, which is once or twice a day, and Ridge and I have both had fun giving him a little poke & getting a bump back. It's a special time, and I am so blessed to have had no complications and relatively little discomfort with this pregnancy, and to have such wonderful support from my husband, family, and friends.
Well, like I said, I'll try to get some pictures on here soon, so check back and I might just have something interesting on here!
Friday, July 29, 2011
Saturday, July 16, 2011
What I really enjoy is all the people watching I get to do, and the time I usually spend knitting. Since the market is in the parking lot of Kalispell Center Mall, Ridge lets me go and shop for awhile, on the condition that I bring him back a soft pretzel.
Then, we sit and just enjoy the morning, drinking coffee, meeting friends, and talking with other vendors. This last time, the gal next to us was selling organic produce, so we got some strawberries & snap peas to munch on.
The market ends at twelve-thirty, which means we can escape the heat and maybe catch a few yard sales before going home. We usually run a few errands, then come home, make iced tea or lemonade, and kick back until Ridge heads off to Rosa's and I prepare for Sunday.
As much as I'm looking forward to meeting our little man, I've been savoring these last few weeks of Summer busy-slowness we have of just the two of us.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I know what you must be thinking. Yes, I am just tickled that we are having a boy; however, I still love seeing pretty girl goodies. I found this adorable cardigan at ON, in size 0-3 mo. So cute! It just reminded me so much of Kath Kidston or ModCloth.
Now here is the fare for us! Men aren't known for going crazy for baby clothes, but lately, Ridge has been having a great time picking out togs for our little guy. As many of you might already know, Ridge has a fairly unique, not-your-run-of-the-mill style, and he is looking forward to dressing Sean in a similar fashion. Plaids, cables, argyle, cords, khaki, and all other vintage collegiate attire. Ever seen A Beautiful Mind? That's it.
Gotta love a man in a tie & sportcoat. I'll have two! :-)
Thursday, July 7, 2011
I'm not too antsy, but I will say that I am fondly looking forward to wearing my prepregnancy clothes again. At this point, spending a bunch of money on maternity clothes seems pointless, so right now my wardrobe is a little meh. Not to mention that it's too hot right now to really care what I look like (with one exception: my feet. I am still doing my pedicures, and I will never, ever wear Crocs, no matter how comfortable people say they are).
In the meantime, I've been enjoying my knitting. I looooove Caron's Spa yarn; it is soft and springy and perfect for making baby goodies. Socks, beanies, and little mitts.
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
So, I've done a little research.
I had no idea how popular it seems to be among pregnant women to go au naturel (or at least awfully close). Some people might say that it is to focus on the wonder of growing a life inside one's own body, or an artistic way of depicting a couple's anticipation and happiness, but as far as I'm concerned naked is naked, whether you're pregnant or not. Period. End of statement.
So, we'll have to come up with some ideas for sweet, fully-clothed pictures to commemorate this time in our lives. It's going by quickly.
Now, that's what I call art!
Saturday, June 4, 2011
And today, for the first time ever, I had two complete strangers ask when I was due. I finally look pregnant (not just like I've been hitting on the donuts too often)! 'bout time, because Thursday marked seven months. So far, things have seemed to go by very quickly. It's hard to believe that, in a just a couple more months, little Sean will be here to meet us!
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Easy Crock-Pot Gumbo
2 chicken breasts
1 can tomato sauce
1 can cut okra, drained
2 3oz andoulle sausages, sliced
1 teaspoon oregano
salt and pepper to taste
brown rice (I use Lundberg), prepared as directed, to serve 2-3 (1/2 cup dry)
Several hours before meal, place chicken breasts in crock pot with tomato sauce. Check in approx. 2 hrs, shred chicken with a fork. Add sausage, okra, and oregano. Let these all cook together for 1 hr (you can use this time to make your rice, if you like). Add cooked rice, salt & pepper to taste.
This makes a nice, hearty stew. You could also add diced bell pepper and/or cocktail shrimp to make it extra yummy!
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Anyway, here is the recipe I made last night. It is so good- perfectly juicy and mild herb and citrus flavors.
Lemon Thyme Game Hens
time: prep=15 min, cook=1-1 1/4 hrs.
serves: 2- adjust by adding more birdies
2 Cornish game hens (thawed if previously frozen)
1 medium or large lemon
2 generous tablespoons thyme
olive oil for basting
a baking dish with at least "1 sides- this makes lots of juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut lemon in half, then divide one of the halves. Stuff the quarters into the body cavity of each game hen, then sprinkle most of the thyme in. Slice remaining lemon fairly thin. Using your fingers, gently separate the bird's skin from body; do not remove, but rather leave a "pocket." Carefully slide lemon slices into pocket, sprinkle hen with remaining thyme. Spritz or baste hens with oil, and bake for 1hr. (1hr. 15-20min. if you birds are bigger than 1lb. 2oz.) Remove from oven when juices run clear when pierced. Let rest 5min. and carve.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
So far, I've had excellent luck finding maternity jeans, and still am wearing non-maternity shirts. I have yet to get a dress that fits well, so for church I just go with separates.
I've begun planning a shower with my Mom, which will probably be in late July.
Overall, things seem to be going smoothly.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
I've read quite a few recipes for oven-fried chicken that require dredging in flour, cornflakes, etc., but here is my recipe for the easiest oven-fried chicken ever. We eat this a couple times a month, and it always turns out moist and flavorful. It's also easy to cook some potatoes with the chicken, or have green beans or salad for a side.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, one per person
small dish of milk
bowl of finely crushed potato chips- any flavor works, I've used original, sour cream & onion, and BBQ, all with great results
Pan suitable for number of chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each chicken breast in half, dip each half in milk, then press in chip crumbs to coat on both sides. Arrange in pan, and bake for 30 minutes.
Couldn't be easier, and gets rave reviews from Ridge every time. Almost makes me feel guilty...
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Ridge and I left early on Thursday morning, and arrived in Spokane shortly after lunch. We discovered that, in spite of Ridge's dread hatred of city traffic, we make a pretty good team of pilot & navigator (Megan might be surprised to learn that I am actually gaining a sense of direction. Inside joke.). We had a great time at Riverfront Park, and afterward went to Riverfront Square, which I think is the very most wonderful mall in the world. I'm not much of a mall girl, but who can resist Williams-Sonoma, Banana Republic, and criss-crossing escalators? Not I. And Ridge was mighty impressed by the three-story theater, too.
Then we set off to find the Lincoln Center, which it turns out, Google maps gave us directions to a statue of Abraham Lincoln, not the hall where Fernando Ortega would be playing. After a frantic call to my parents for help, we finally found it in the nick of time. After all these years, we got to see him in person, and for the cherry on top, he sang his version of "Great is Thy Faithfulness," which was the recessional at our wedding. We were tickled, and I think Sean liked it, too. :-) He's gotten very active of late.
In Moscow, we had a wonderful time with Rayia, Jonathan, Titus, and Adeline. In the course of our stay, we attended a really neat Renaissance fair in the park. It was far from authentic, but had lots of fun activities for kids. That night, we went out with Rayia & Jonathan to Nectar. It's a little restaurant with a limited seasonal menu, but soooooooooo yummy! Ridge & I split the Gruyere mac n' cheese & the nectar salad. Mmmm....
Sunday marked one year since the first day of our courtship, so we went out alone to walk around downtown Moscow, where we got hot bagel sandwiches and ice cream. Here I go about food again! We also got to attend Adeline's ballet recital, and that was fun!
So, now we are home again, and there are dishes and laundry and such to attend to, but we now have fond memories of a lovely vacation!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
And now I want to post the yummiest shortcake recipe I think I've ever tried. I brought a triple batch of these to Ransom and Jessica's on Sunday. (from MarthaStewart.com)
By the way, check out Ridge's YouTube channel. I have a link to it on my sidebar, and he is trying to get as many views on his movies as possible. :-)
- 1 3/4 pounds (6 cups) strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and quartered
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons cold (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss strawberries with 3/4 cup sugar; let sit to bring out their juices.
In a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal but with some pea-size bits of butter remaining, 10 to 12 times. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup cream and the eggs; pour over flour mixture, and pulse until some large clumps begin to form, 25 to 30 times.
Using a half-cup measuring cup, gently pack dough, invert, and then tap out onto a baking sheet. Repeat to form 8 biscuits. Bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool, about 15 minutes.
Beat remaining 1 1/2 cups cream and 2 tablespoons sugar with the vanilla until soft peaks form.
Slice biscuits in half horizontally. Spoon strawberries and their liquid over bottom halves. Spoon whipped cream on strawberries, and replace top halves of biscuits.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
If you are like most females, looking at lovely pictures and building imaginary dwellings of fine draperies, flooring, furnishings, and landscaping, is a pastime that can eventually become all-consuming. Certainly, looking at creative uses of furniture, fabric, and color, especially when contemplating a real project, like building or renovating a room/house, can be profitable. However, a real tendency is to start a cause-and-effect cycle that can breed discontent. We can easily slip from appreciating the loveliness to wishing we had something like it, and before we know it, we are finding every little thing that's wrong (or at least perceived as wrong) with our own houses and possessions.
And there lies the real problem (besides God's command forbidding covetousness). We follow an ideal that I strongly believe is God's best for families; and that is the single-income family. I rely on my husband for shelter and daily provision, and if, no matter how warm and well-fed I am, I persist in dreaming of what is not mine, imagine what a burden I could place on him! There is nothing wrong in having color and style preferences, but if I continually mention this or that wonderful thing I cannot have, the man who works 10 hour shifts most weekdays for my welfare is left feeling inferior to my expectations and unable to give me what I really want. What a horrible way to make anyone feel! In Ephesians, men are instructed to love their wives, (and wives to reverence their husbands) and Ridge has shown that he loves me very much. That's really all I need.
Life is full of opportunities to acquire lovely possessions, but if we blow our chances with relationships, it's hard to go back.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have : for he hath said , I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Oh, and the name?
Sean Wilberforce Mallery.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Well, I'm almost to the half way mark in my pregnancy, and am finally approaching that dreaded point that every expectant woman reaches: facing the prospect of spending a good amount of money on clothes that you think are cute now, but inevitably you will hate by the end of your term. Add to that being petite, and it's become clear that finding comfy- yet stylish maternity wear is going to be a challenge. Am I up for it? Do I pledge to avoid polyester tent-like dresses like the plague? And to keep wearing my (modestly high) heels? And to eat (mostly) right, stay active, and exfoliate regularly? Yes, yes, yes, and yes!
One of my main concerns has been my weight. When I was fourteen, although I never developed an eating disorder, I went through a phase of constantly weighing myself (3-4 times daily), and I know that I don't want to be neurotic like that again. I've always been slim-but-not-skinny, and given that and my healthy BMI, height, age, and maternal history, my goal for pregnancy gain is 20-25 pounds. So far, I'm right on track.
I'd say secondary to that is the concern of clothes. Right now, I finally fit the pair of CK sz 2's that were my too-big jeans prepregnancy. I already have a pair of maternity capris, and I plan on getting one or two pairs of jeans, three or four dresses, numerous tops, stretchy skirts, and the holy grail: a modest and relatively inexpensive swimsuit.
Ridge and I have finalized our choice for a girl name, so now we are prepared for either/or. My next ultrasound is next week, and we *might* find out the little M.'s gender. It's getting pretty tempting, and to be perfectly honest, I'm rather alarmed and appalled at the fact that we've succumbed so soon to the seemingly universal urge parents develop to check out their offspring's privates. Shame on us. Pervs.
Many of you might already know, but last Wednesday, our Jeep Cherokee was stolen. It was already having problems, and when it was found a couple days later, the engine was toast. We were able to get a '96 Ford Taurus on Sunday at the Creston Auction. Our mechanic, Mike Shelley, is going to replace the transmission, and then it will need only a few cosmetic fixes. We are so thankful to Jason Ferguson, for finding our Jeep, Dad Vestal, for letting us drive his Suburban while in limbo, Dad Mallery for bidding for us, Mike, for his expert advice and help, and most of all, to God, for making a way for us.
So that has been our life lately.
And now I need to fold laundry and unload the dishwasher.