Easter and the Camera

The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.”

Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God. –2 Chronicles 5:13-14

My camera started working today! Jordan prayed for it and then tried turning it on, and it worked. I wouldn’t even let myself be in the same room when he made the attempt, because I get too frustrated about that kind of stuff. My sister-in-law and I got stuck in an awesome thunder storm with the girls while trying to play tennis with them. It was nice and warm. Did an Easter egg hunt and went to church–not too much else Easter-wise.

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Vegetables and the Circle of Life

Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah,  “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. –Daniel 1:11-16

Oh, it is so hard writing this blog and admitting the lack of blogging I have been doing. I think the broken camera has wounded me in deep, therapy-requiring ways. Anyway, I didn’t cook much this week due to busy-ness, but I did make a really tasty stir-fry using some of Mark Bittman’s ideas (like adding sesame oil and soy sauce at the end) and some of my mom’s good Asian stir-fry training. I included cauliflower, broccoli, mushroom, carrot, onion, garlic, celery, and extra-firm tofu that I fried first. It tasted great. I am craving it again right now. I am tempted to actually just go recreate it, substituting edamame for the tofu, since I don’t have any right now.

Spiritually, I don’t think much monumental has happened this past week or over this Lent, in general. But I am feeling generally content, though I still have random days (probably tied to hormonal cycles) when I feel sad about living here when I could be living on a beach somewhere or (as I was imagining today) in a setting like where the lions in The Lion King live (especially when it is featured during the “Circle of Life” intro). Recently, some of these children’s movies have been making me emotional. So dorky.

Maybe I will blog tomorrow and wrap up this 40-day experiment with some wise words. I will say that at this point, I am really glad I invested the time in learning how to cook vegetarian, and I am pretty sure I will continue for the most part. I never imagined there could be so many satisfying, delicious, filling meals that seriously compete with, if not dominate over many boring meat dishes.

Roasted Vegetable Stock and Opportunities

Immediately what had been said about Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled. He was driven away from people and ate grass like cattle. His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.

At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation.

All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” –Daniel 4:33-35

I need to be doing work stuff right now, because my kids are at my friend’s house being babysat and I really need to get some work done. However, I am feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I feel like now, right at this moment, I have all these opportunities or doors open to me, but I don’t have the time to take advantage of them properly. It’s stressful.

A friend just offered me an ACT/SAT tutoring job that would be great to do in the evenings a couple times a week, but first I have to take a few tests to prove my skillz. My consulting job has lots of potential, but I kind of have to be pushy (which requires time and energy) to maximize it. It’s not like I am being told to do stuff specifically, so if I want to create something on my own, I have to work pretty hard to make sure it is packaged nicely as to be accepted.  I still have this academic paper I started over a year ago that would probably be published if I just had the time and guts to finish it. My grad school advisor just emailed asking about its status (which is basically non-existent) a couple weeks ago. And I have this interviewing artists thing I am doing for our church which I really enjoy and could be spending even more time on. And I want to be looking for jobs for me and Jordan in other places.

I don’t know how to find the time to do all of this. I am tired as it is, getting about seven hours of sleep a night and I hate using babysitters too much, especially when I already have to use them to go to meetings. I need some solution to ride up to me on a white horse, maybe in the form of my mother, offering her goddess-like babysitting services with open arms.

I made roasted vegetable soup stock last Friday that I have been meaning to write about, because it was a complex, fun process that I was able to do with kids around, but I probably won’t get to it. We have been eating lots of order-in (Chinese, Thai, etc.). And my camera–that I just bought in January after Iris broke my last one on Christmas day–the one with all my soup stock pictures broke after I idiotically touched the lens.

Quesadillas and Habanero Sauce

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers.  And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. Genesis 45:1-2

I somehow have forgotten about blogging. You know how usually things you are trying to do regularly haunt you the rest of the time until you do them? Somehow I just stopped remembering that I should blog.

We had a great day today. My ne’er-cooking husband made both breakfast and lunch today, just using the ingredients in the fridge. He made scrambled eggs with mushrooms, shallots, and cheddar cheese for breakfast and fried quesadillas filled with cheddar cheese and black beans, along with avocado and sour cream for lunch. Both simple and quick. Both delicious, especially with some of the good habanero sauce we just bought. It is some Louisianan brand we found at our grocery store for about one dollar.

We also made two park excursions with the girls today (all together, which we usually don’t do–one of us generally tries to stay home and be productive) and we both competed in the first ever Annual Henry Family Day-Before-Palm-Sunday 1-Mile Fun Run RACE. While we were at the park late this afternoon, it was Jordan’s idea. I had been planning to go on a jog all day, and I had been teasingly trying to get him to join me for a family run (knowing he would never agree because he makes fun of couples who jog together and because he is afraid to run because he thinks he is out of shape). He won the race.

Love and Thai Food

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. -Ephesians 3:17b-19

I had a meeting downtown this morning and I have to head downtown again at 3. Sigh. I had to have two different babysitters for three hours each.

I really believe my reason for working is to help people who don’t have the same opportunities I do and don’t have the choice to be with their babies all day, but it is still hard. I never want me being away to be bad for them. But then there are other things that I do that are bad for them on a regular basis that I don’t even think about–not being consistent, not telling the truth, not giving them my attention when I am with them, etc. In some ways, like when I got home at 10 this morning, knowing I would have to say goodbye again in five hours, I gave them all of my attention and PLAYED with them for a couple hours before Sophia went to preschool and Iris took her nap.

So I don’t know what the right balance is. I don’t want to be the mom that never sees her kids, and I know I am nowhere even near that, but I don’t even want to be the mom who is pawning her kid off on anyone or to anyplace so she can work done. It’s just not that important. To me. And someone else who is willing to do that could do it instead of me if that was what was required. I just know from experience that unless you are extremely conscious about it, you never treat other kids like your own, which can sometimes be good. But most of the time it is not.

The other side of it is that I know I have codependent tendencies, and those now seem to be expressing themselves through my relationships with my daughters.

Enough about that. It probably isn’t that interesting to the vast majority of the world.

Jordan has been really in love with me recently. He is almost the least romantic person ever, so I enjoy what I can get. I don’t know why I am sharing this, but it is really nice after 5+ up and down years of marriage. I wonder how to maintain it. Am I doing something different? Is it even within my control?

I still have not cooked since the mole. We ordered out Thai food last night and tonight we are probably doing leftovers.

Babies and the Kingdom

People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” -Luke 18:15-17

Got to go to bed. Blogging just to say I did. The more random Bible verses I do, the more like a mysterious old tome the Bible sounds.

Story Time and Sunburn

Sophia in Michigan.

Iris in Michigan.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. –Proverbs 13:12

Today I spent babysitting for two different children, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. We went to a funny story time at an ice cream shop in the morning. The woman who does the story time is hilarious. She should be famous. I feel so self-conscious there because the whole time I am listening/watching her, I am so into it that I am either laughing, making sympathetic faces, surprised, or basically responding in whatever way her little story or game is trying to get the kids to do. Iris, who is not yet two years old, sits there mesmerized or belly laughing hysterically. Sophia, who is four and half, is either laughing or turning to me to say, “Mom, she is so silly,” about Miss Tracey, the story time story teller.

Something about it is very inspiring. Maybe it is the way the lady has embraced her gift in life (doing story times for kids) so passionately. And she really seems to love it. And I like that she almost always seems to be wearing workout clothes, like she just went for a jog. It is my preferred style. Read: very casual.

We spent all afternoon with the other child we  babysat at our favorite park. I think I am possibly even slightly sunburned on my face, which is quite lovely.

Tomorrow, I have to be ready to go to a meeting downtown at 7 am. I will wear one of my new suits, and Jordan will stay home for the morning and watch the girls. When I told Sophia that this was going to happen, she said, “Mommy will be Daddy, and Daddy will be Mommy.” It is so interesting that she has us so caged into our little roles. Then she asked if we could call us by the other’s names.

I have been aware of the strangeness of juggling a professional/career life and children since Sophia was one and I was in grad school, but it never grows normal. It just feels so weird to be dressed like a slob eating snacks or taking a kid potty in the morning, and acting as intelligent and knowledgeable and organized as possible in the afternoon. Every single thing about your behavior is opposite, from your dress to your posture and language. Even the way you relate to people is opposite. With children your effort is to be accessible, simple, relaxed, warm and understanding, while with the working place adults I find myself trying to keep my jolly side under wraps and to act as intimidating, serious, and Type A as possible.

I hate that the world is so compartmentalized. What if we treated each other like kids, in the best way possible? Maybe we would actually get more done since we would do away with all the time-wasting phoniness.