Another Red Letter Day



As if we haven’t had enough cause for celebration around here lately, today is my wonderful husband’s 30th birthday.  If you’ve been paying close attention, you might know that this milestone came and went for me over a year ago.  The months between October and March are always a little uncomfortable for me because I am two years older than Trevor for that time rather than just one, so you can imagine how much I *haven’t* enjoyed being in a whole different decade from him.  The last time that happened, when he was 19 and I was 21, he looked like this (what a cutie, huh?).  On my 21st birthday he signed my card “From Trevor, aged 19” (not so cute.)


Trevor aged 19.

But how life has changed since then.  In ten years, he has graduated from college, gotten married, had a couple daughters, moved to a new continent and had a couple more daughters – not many people can say that!  (He was joking yesterday that now that he’s turning thirty it might be time he ought to think about settling down.)

The girls and I are incredibly blessed to have him in our lives, and I thank God daily for his love and commitment to our family.  If it weren’t for the newborn by my side who may or may not decide to stay asleep for a while, I could easily produce a top 30 list of things I am thankful for about him.  Under the circumstances, you’ll just have to take my word for it that he’s pretty amazing.


Trevor aged 29 and 363/365.

We knew it might be tricky this year to do a full blown 30th birthday bash, given that little Junie’s due date was just a day before the big event (although, pretty cool present, right?), but I hope you’ll all join me in wishing him a very happy birthday.

Happy Birthday, Trev.  I love you!

The Accent Barrier

PhotobucketTrevor is terrified of drive-throughs.  He detests them.  Seriously, last time we went to one, he made us park and switch seats so that I had to talk.  Yesterday, I found out why.

We were picking up KFC to take to my mom’s store for lunch, and I begged him just to suck it up and do the ordering for us.  “Fine. ”

The girl (imagine late teens city girl, northeast Philly accent): Hi, welcome to KFC.  Can I take your order?

Him (speaking in perfect, beautiful Queen’s English): Yes, I’d like a variety bucket.

Her: Could you repeat that?

Him: Sorry?

Her: <silence>

Him: (continuing his order)  … with chicken strips, a family sized fries, and four pieces of chicken.

Her:  Could you repeat that?

Him: <looking at me, bewildered>

Me:  Repeat it!  Variety bucket.  She doesn’t know what you’re saying.

Him: A variety bucket please, with…

Her: A what?!?

Some co-worker guy behind her: A  VARIETY BUCKET!

Her: Oh, okay.  What would you like in that? You can have chicken strips, popcorn chicken, fries, chicken pieces, honey barbeque wings…

Him: I’d like chicken strips, fries, four pieces of chicken…

Her:  Popcorn chicken?

Him: <bewildered again>

Me: She thinks you said popcorn chicken.  Tell her four pieces of chicken.

Him: No, four pieces of chicken.

Her: Okay, okay.  Original or extra crispy.

Him: <giving me that look again>

Me: Tell her original.

Him: Original.

Her: Anything else?

Him: <pleading with me with his eyes that there be nothing else>

Me: (very apologetically) Drinks?  Two large diet cokes and whatever you want.

Him: Two large diet cokes and a… large Dr. Pepper.

Her: Could you repeat that?

Him: Two large diet cokes and a large Dr. Pepper.

Her: Okay. Anything else?

Me: Drinks for the… Nevermind, we can get them something at the store.  That’s fine.  Tell her that’s it.

Him: That’s it.

Her: Please pull around to the next window.

The whole car lets out a BIG SIGH…

At this point I’m stroking his back and apologizing, “I’m sorry.  I get it now.  I won’t make you do it again.  Are you okay?  You talk so much better than her.  It wasn’t you.  I’ll totally drive next time.  I promise.  I’m sorry.”

We paid our money, I leaned across him to ask for some cups and lids for the girls.  The poor girl was all embarrassed and giggly, and the guy behind her was just shaking his head.

Two people, divided by a common language.  Go figure.

He Says, She Says Saturdays: Facial Hair

On men, that is.  If I ever have facial hair, that might warrant a blog post all its own!

This somewhat random topic comes to us courtesy of our friend Jeff, whom we had the pleasure of having over for dinner tonight.  Jeff does not have an active blog, but he ought to, and as an attempt to lure him into the blogosphere, I will give this little linky shout-out to his thoughts on beards on his badly neglected MySpace blog.  (Hey, maybe we should call it He Says, She Says, Jeff Says Saturday this week… our first guest speaker!)  Jeff’s beard looks like this, incidentally, or at least it did two years ago.  I don’t think it is much different now, but I am not a facial hair expert, as you are about to find out.

This is, to my knowledge, the most facial hair my husband has ever had:

Photobucket (Right before shaving it off.)
(Just an excuse to show off a picture of 6-month-old Romilly – wasn’t she sweet?)

He stopped shaving when he left his job in Scotland and didn’t shave again until his first interview in America.  I think it was basically just an experiment to see if he could grow a beard.  It was a fun experiment, but I can’t say I was sad to see it go.  I don’t mind the look of a nicely trimmed beard (Orlando  as opposed to bearded Jack) facial-hair-orlando-bloom-400a010907.jpg jack-beard-715965.jpg but I don’t want it on my husby.  They’re just no fun to cuddle.  I didn’t mind Trevor’s beard when he had it, but I am not a huge fan of the stubbliness it took to get there (or, indeed, of the stubbliness that always seems to accumulate between shaves for him.)  I guess I just like his face too much to see (or feel) it obscured in any way.

Hopefully he will have something more interesting to say on the topic than I did sometime in the near future, but in the meantime, I have an important task for you, my faithful and devoted readers: Please, oh please, fill up my comment box with some ideas for what on earth we can blog about on Saturdays! We had intended this to be a much more… well, interesting endeavor than it has been, and we seem to have fallen into a rut of writing about whatever we happen to be up to on that particular weekend. I know we can do better. So, unless you want to read drivel like this again next weekend, get thinking! (Hey, at least you got some nice pictures today, right?)

He Says, She Says Saturdays: Let’s Go To the Movies

Watch me!

I should start with a confession: when I was little, I used to put on my curly red Annie wig and scrub my mom’s kitchen floor while singing “It’s the Hard Knock Life”. Annie was once my *favorite* movie, so tracking down this clip on YouTube made me just a little bit giddy. I will also admit that going to the movies nowadays is every bit as much of an event for me as it would have been for little orphan Annie during the depression (okay, almost).

It doesn’t happen often that we find someone who wants to watch all three of our little ones for the evening and we can justify spending the ridiculous fortune it costs to go to the movies now, but last night was one such night.  Thanks to a very well-planned Christmas present from Mary and Duncan, we had babysitters for an evening and managed to do the whole cinematic shebang (including popcorn, soda, and skittles) for $0.75 in total.  It was quite possibly one of our best date nights ever.  We saw The Other Boleyn Girl, and both really enjoyed it.  It sparked a long-dormant (wait, dormant implies that it was there once, which is not quite right…) interest in history for me, and was also fascinating to Trevor, who already knew the history of Henry VIII’s wives so well that halfway through the movie he leaned over and whispered to me, “divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, lived” (apparently this is something that every good English boy knows???).  We will forgive him if part of the initial draw to this movie was its connection to our favorite (or at least most-viewed) movie of all time, Where the Heart Is.

popcorn.jpegAs I was saying, getting to the movies is a very big deal for me. In spite of there being times in my life when I went much more often than my current rate of, oh, once every six months, I think it has always been a big deal to me.   I enjoy the whole experience: the previews, the popcorn (mmm… especially the popcorn, the more butter the better), the grandness of it all.

What’s more, for better or for worse, I really do enjoy the movies themselves.  I find myself increasingly particular about what I want to have passing before my eyes (and ears) as I get older, and proportionately disturbed by what passes as appropriate viewing for a 13-year-old.  Juno springs to mind here.  I took my sister to see it a couple months ago, and although I appreciate that some aspects of the message were good… why, oh, why with the language?  (It didn’t bother Paige so much.  I rest my case.)

In spite of all that, I love how movies give me insight into the human condition and experience, good and bad.  They give me glimpses of the how the unredeemed mind sees the world, and of how deceptive my own heart can be.  They give me a sense of kinship with all mankind,  one place in the world or period in history at a time, one quirky personality type or unseen subculture at a time.  They cause me to marvel at the talents and beauty God has built into human beings, and sometimes at what poor stewards we can be of such gifts. And as I shake off that post-movie fog like waking up from a very real dream, I am always thankful that the truth is still what the Truth is, and not what Hollywood paints it to be.

Don’t forget to check out what he says here.

He Says, She Says Saturdays: Why I Blog

normal_ink-quill.jpgAs I write this, my poor sweetie has been in bed for the better part for the last 18 hours, so I’m not at all sure we’ll be hearing from him today, but I’ve taken the liberty of choosing what I thought would be a pretty easy topic for us to address, even with a slightly foggy brain.

*         *          *         *          *

As I write this, it is now Monday morning, Trevor is back on his feet and at work (he’s such a trouper!), and a power failure on Saturday night combined with a super-busy Sunday kept either of us from doing any blogging this weekend.

On to the topic at hand.  I guess I’ve already touched on this a bit here and there.  We’ve had a website since Pippa was born that has primarily showcased photos, but has also served as a record for us of what we did when, what the girls were doing at different ages, and what life was like for us at any given time.  Once Pippa started talking, I began to feel that photos just weren’t capturing her enough, I needed somewhere to write.  A lot.  My technological whiz of a husband set this blog up for me, I had no sooner written my first post then I discovered Romilly was hot on Pippa’s heels in the talking department.   In the process of writing my second post, I ran into some technical glitches that ended up keeping me quietly frustrated with blogdom for the next several months.

During that little hiatus, in addition to having a baby and enduring what felt like an eternity without a well-functioning computer, I spent some time seeing what some other people were using their blogs for. I began to see the appeal again, and Trevor and I had several conversations that went something like this:

Me:  I think I really want a blog.

Him: You already have a blog.

Me:  Oh.

I think what  I was trying to express, albeit in very  simple terms, was that I wanted  (a) a pretty blog, (b) a blog that I knew how to add pictures to and that wouldn’t (just occasionally, on a whim) put an entire paragraph into one enormously long straight line (anyone else have this issue with WordPress???), and (c) a blog with a bit more purpose, that would be worthy of spending my time on.

So here I am now.  I guess that was more of a history than  a reason.  Probably there are some posts that don’t fulfill any of these purposes, but here is why I blog now:

  •  To remember.  As I said in my very first post, I don’t ever want to forget this sweet sweet time in my life, or the way my girls are right now.  I know I can’t hold onto it forever, but I also know one day I will cherish the moments I record here.
  • To celebrate.  Something about turning a thought, conversation, or event into a blog post somehow makes it bigger and more significant.  Blogging makes me notice the little things that make life wonderful and thank God for them, and even the ones I never get around to turning into posts are more note-worthy for my having that mindset.
  • To think deeply.  A mom of three little ones doesn’t often have the mental energy, the time, or the brain cells to think deeply about life, but blogging forces me to make the effort.  In the process, I can (sometimes, hopefully) turn my thoughts upward and see how God is present and working in my life.  There is so much real meaning hiding behind the apparently mundane tasks of a wife and mother, and I don’t want to miss that while I’m caught up in the middle of it all.

I wonder why he blogs…

My Kind of Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2008
Welcome! If you’re here because of the Ultimate Blog Party, I look forward to ‘meeting’ you! If you’re just here because you’re one of my five (six maybe?) regular readers, then you are probably wondering what on earth this post is all about. Well, it’s a big old party right inside my computer! How great is that? I just love that I can write this post in my PJs, and then hop around visiting everyone else’s parties in my PJs too (if, in fact, you are wearing your PJs right now, then this must be your kind of party too!) I’m a little late getting in on this, since I only figured out today how to put the little Blog Party button in my sidebar. (I’m pretty new to blogging, so I feel like I should be putting words like “button” and “sidebar” in quotes, but I’m resisting. Happily, thanks to this party I now know what a “widget” is, too. Sort of. Almost. A little bit.)  To get us in the party mood, here is one of our girls’ favorite toys that we get to endure play with over and over again at our home.  Lucky us.  Feel free to sing along!

I suppose an introduction is in order, especially since I’ve never officially done that on my blog.  My name is Jodi.  I am recently(ish) 30.  I am blessed to be married to an amazing Englishman who loves the Lord.   We are both eternally thankful for God’s love for us.  You can read more about my faith by clicking on any of these highlighted words or by clicking the God category at the side.

We have three wonderful little girls under the age of four (my “baby” was three and a half yesterday!) The big girls tend to steal the show most of the time. Here they are in some transfer T-shirts I made them (more on them to follow!)

This photo really captures their personalities, since Pippa is our thoughtful, reserved little English rose (okay, some of the time), and Romilly is the crazy American chatterbox.

Little Bea sure is starting to give the big girls a run for their money, though. She can steal the show back from them just by being in the room.

Well, what is a party without cake? And what is a cake without icing? Hey, let’s just skip to the icing, okay? I’ve never done a giveaway before, so this seemed like a good occasion to have my first. Here’s the deal. You hop around a little bit and see if you can find a post that gets you thinking, or makes you laugh, or warms your heart or something, then come back to this post and leave me a comment about it (and make sure you include your e-mail address, please).  You can even just tell me you like this post, because it has a free giveaway – I’m not fussy about the comment love!  I will choose one at random using Amanda’s patented random number choosing system, and I’ll post the winner here (and e-mail you, too!)  The winner will receive, as quickly as I can put one together, a personalized transfer T-shirt or onesie with your little one’s name (or yours, if you like) in a street sign or a book title or wherever I happen to find your little one’s name.  (Like the ones my big girls are wearing above.)  Details are all totally negotiable, and we can discuss after you win!  Again, make sure you leave your comment on my party post, or I might not find it for the drawing, which will be after this whole sha-bang is over.

In addition to my little giveaway, there are tons of prizes being offered at the main prize page.  My favorites from the list are 80, 101, and 7 (in no particular order), but of course I’d be delighted to win anything at all, especially something cute for my girlies!

Lovely to meet you!  Love the PJs!

How Amazing Is My DH?

d_2278.jpg So, it’s Valentine’s Day.   We don’t really do Valentine’s Day.  Sometimes a card, sometimes dinner out, but never a fuss.  It’s very hard to buy for the man who has everything doesn’t want you to spend any of his own money on him.  I was feeling pretty on top of my game to have a card from me and one (compliments of printables from Playhouse Disney) from each of the girls that is old enough to hold a crayon, all nicely arranged on the table for him when we woke up this morning.  Nothing for me, which was not a big deal.  We’re procrastinators, so it goes without saying around here that one has the entirety of a holiday/birthday to come up with the goods.

Then when I got home from my Bible study this afternoon (more on to follow in another post, I hope), I found an e-mail from Trevor with this linked in it.  (Sorry, love, I know you were going for anonymity – now you’re out there for my entire readership (of 4) to see!  But you knew you’d be getting some linky love, didn’t you?)  Well, so much for everything I was supposed to get done today!  I am just thankful that I managed to get the girls lunch before I checked my e-mail today, because once I followed the link, I spent the next 45 minutes reading, laughing, crying, rereading and crying more.   Well, I always knew it, but this seals the deal:  I am officially married to the most wonderful man on earth (and did I mention the accent???  I just never get over that!)

So here is what I was going to do for him before I was completely outdone and also reduced to a sniffling puddle: a little bit of Valentine’s Day cuteness from our three little cupids.

A bargain, wouldn’t you agree?:

And my bloggy movie debut:

And finally, since he apparently likes me, too, a self portrait of me beaming after reading his blog.

Husby, you are full of surprises, and I am so blessed to call you mine.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love, ???