Forgetting about our trips to the doctor and such, we had a very fun time celebrating Valentine's day. I made the boys waffles in the morning, we had special pink fruit for lunch (watermelon in the middle of winter), I made one of Jeff's favorite meals for dinner, and Tommy and I made heart-shaped cookies for dessert. I also got some beautiful potted tulips from Jeff. When he was purchasing them the cashier commented that it was wise to buy them potted so you can enjoy them year-round. Maybe I'll save the bulbs so I can enjoy them again.
Continuing in my love theme - last week I happened to get tagged with two blog awards. I am going to save time by posting both and the little-known facts about me in one post. (The conditions of the awards are to list the sender, share facts about oneself, and pass it on). Here goes:
The first came from Elizabeth at Ordinary Time. I would highly encourage you to take a look at her blog, especially if you are interested in God, adoption, larger families, home-schooling, cooking, sewing, crafting, hospitality, and parenting. Elizabeth and her husband have nine kids, with another on the way home very soon (please say a prayer for her travel approval to come this week) from China. We met Elizabeth and her family at our church in Evanston. Their home was one of the places we stayed during our period of homelessness between our lease ending in Evanston and the move-in date for our current apartment, a kindness we will always appreciate. This qualifies me to say that it is ridiculous how calm and organized her house is considering the number of people that live there. Seriously, if my kids turn out half as polite and calm as hers I will be very pleased. Here are some of my favorite recent posts:
"You're so good"
Hope for the hopeless, or baring my soul
The cost of raising a child
O be careful little brain what you think
The second came from Laura at Fingertip Meditations. Laura and I endured grad school together. Since I don't generally make my friends take IQ tests I can't prove this, but I think it is safe to say she is one of the smartest women I know. She is a wonderful historian and I enjoy her history blog as well. She also has this book available and this one coming soon. Laura writes about faith, thankfulness, and life. Some recent posts by Laura that I enjoyed:
And now, seven facts about me, from birth to present:
1. I was born three weeks early and only 5 1/2 pounds. I'm hoping this baby will be as courteous and kind to me as I was to my mother. He can always catch up later...
2. I have always loved detective stories. The obsession started early with Inspector Gadget and Nancy Drew. When my mom was pregnant (and I think she was pretty much always pregnant when I was little) she would lay on the couch in the afternoons and read me chapter after chapter of Nancy Drew. Then Dad read me more at bedtime. Talk about good parenting.
3. Speaking of books, when I got my own room (I think I was eight), I decided to set it up as a lending library. I organized all my books alphabetically (by author, of course), stamped them with a "belongs to" stamp, and created a check-out system. I named it the "Paul C. Cox" memorial library after my (still-living) grandpa because he was the most important person I could think of that I personally knew and that would visit the library, which I thought was necessary for it to be "memorial."
4. When I was growing up my parents owned more than one 12-seater van with vinyl seats and no AC. I have never been so miserable (in my teenage mind) as the three week family vacation we took to Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah when I was 13. That said, hours of books on tape for my young siblings (Jamberry, jamberry, jamberry jam), eating mostly ritz crackers sprayed with easy-cheese (our idea of a delicious traveling lunch), camping in the heat with a raging stomach flu, and stopping at every single kiva ever built in the southwest so my mom could take a picture did make the trip very memorable, and they say that memories create happiness.
5. For our first date Jeff took me to the Cheesecake factory. He ate Cajun Chicken Littles (aka grown-up chicken fingers) with a knife and fork. I knew he did this, because I'd known Jeff forever before we started dating, BUT, it still seriously annoyed me because I had ordered a chicken sandwich that turned out to be ridiculously slippery and I could barely take a bite without something shooting out of it. I thought the least he could do was to eat his chicken nuggets with his fingers like a normal person to make me feel better. Alas, to this day he still uses knives and forks on things that are obviously finger foods. I have learned to live with it.
6. Turning 30 didn't phase me at all. Turning 31 was a little harder, because I didn't want to be "in my thirties" as opposed to 30. At least I have a long time before I have to say I'm in my "late thirties." That just sounds old. However, as Tommy reminded me the other day after I complained about being "an old woman" because I can barely move these days- "Mom, you AREN'T an old woman, you're still smooth!"
7. The only food craving I have had so far with this pregnancy is for shawarma from Al-Dar in (this will make you laugh) CONGO. Seriously, what is wrong with me? Now, I will describe it so you can laugh at me further: Flat bread, beef shawarma, mayonaise coleslaw, french fries, and pili pili (Congolese hot sauce) all rolled up! It may sound really gross (especially the french fries), but I promise it was like manna from heaven when I was there, and it was cheap to boot. I have no hope of obtaining it here, so I will never know if it is really as good when you aren't already very hungry and tired of awful guest house fare. I crave it nonetheless.
Now to pass it on. I decided to keep it in the family and pass the awards on to my blogging sisters, Katie and Colleen. If Emily blogged she would get one too, but alas, she only tweets and pins.
Finally, a big loving thanks to Carrie at Amazing Grace and A Safe Haven. We won one of their "More Love" giveaways! Now we are the proud owners of a Lion King DVD. Visit her blog and her "More Love" store to help bring home two beautiful little girls from Congo! Maybe if I beg hard enough she will mail me some of that shawarma when she goes...