Wednesday, February 14, 2007

a countercultural valentine's day

I've been reading Shane Claiborne's book The Irresistible Revolution and it's got me thinking about what love is all about. I don't know for sure, but I have a feeling St. Valentine would be unhappy with the way his holiday has turned out. When did we turn it into a one-dimensional celebration of eros? Not that there's anything wrong with romantic love--but I'm sad about the poverty of our language that forces us to use one word for love where the Greeks had several. There's brotherly (and sisterly) love too - why don't we have a holiday for that? And then there's agape love, the love that loves because love is its nature just as the sun shines because it is its nature to shine.

So, friends, brothers, sisters, parents, children, and fellow lovers, I invite you to join me in a daring countercultural protest. If you are in a romantic relationship, by all means celebrate that. But go a step further. Be an equal opportunity lover. Do something to show you love your brothers, your sisters, your friends. Call up your mom. Put change in parking meters that have expired. Love strangers, refugees, sick people, homeless people, orphans, people of other races, alcoholics, people with AIDS, Iraqis. Instead of going out to dinner tonight, Bryan and I are making a donation to Holt for Korean orphans who aren't being adopted. (But we are still going out for dessert.)

As Shane Claiborne says: Another world is possible.

Monday, February 12, 2007

gotta love two year olds

Yesterday I put Alex in bed for her usual afternoon nap and went to read on the couch. An hour went by, during which I heard her chattering to herself as she often does. I figured she just wasn't tired and went to get her up. When I walked in, I found her buck naked, jumping up and down on the bed and singing Jingle Bells at the top of her lungs. :-)

There is just nothing like living with a two year old. Every day brings fresh surprises!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

adoption - the search

My cousin and his wife are looking to adopt a baby. I knew they had been wanting to become parents for some time, so I was thrilled to hear about their decision. I pray their journey to their baby is mercifully swift. I know how cruel infertility can be, and how heartbreaking it is to wait year after year while all your friends already have kids. I don't know this cousin particularly well - we didn't grow up in the same part of the country - but I've always liked him. Anyone who features Oreo cookies at his wedding reception is automatically dear to my heart.

They are currently spreading the word, hoping that in their extended networks of family and friends they will find someone who knows someone who is pregnant and needs to find an adoptive family for her baby. I'm putting this out there just in never know how a connection will be made, but I'm willing to use my blog as a vehicle if it could help bring a baby to his or her "forever family." Let me know if you know anyone, and keep your eyes open.

The adoption world is full of twists and turns. A weird thing happened to us just a couple of months ago. Back in 2003 we had given our profile to a local attorney friend who does adoptions, and when nothing came of it after a year, we decided to go ahead with international adoption. Three years and two adoptions later, we got a call saying a pregnant woman had seen our profile and was interested in us; would we be willing to adopt her baby? Eek. I was POSITIVE we had removed our profile from the attorney's office when we applied to adopt from Korea. It felt awful to feel we had actually misled anyone, even unintentionally, and to have to say "no" - the timing now would be impossible - Sam's adoption isn't even final yet. May the mom and baby find the family they were meant to be with.

Speaking of adoption, my friend and fellow blogger - who is also mom to a Korean adoptee - recently cancelled her subscription to Parenting magazine. They published a pretty stupid and offensive piece in their "Mom Debate" feature this month: Should singles be allowed to adopt? For more see

I'm cancelling my subscription too, out of protest. But I can't help pointing out an ironic twist: Korean adoption agencies do not allow their babies to go to single parent homes. Ah, what a world we live in.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

community food co-op

I was surfing the net and came across this Community Food Co-op of Utah.
I've been griping about grocery stores and their prices (and shameless marketing ploys) for a while, so this looks pretty cool. People are banding together to outwit the grocery stores and buy directly from wholesalers. Volunteers collect the food, bag it, and distribute it. You sign up for a measly one-time $5, and order from a list of options once a month. Then you pick up your food once a month at your local distribution center. The only requirement is that you do 2 hours of community service (anything you do for free, like volunteering for your church, counts).

We're going to try it. If we don't like the food we don't have to keep doing it, but it looks like some good stuff...lean sirloin beef tips, chicken stir-fry tenderloins, fresh fruits and veggies, whole wheat bread, and more. You can get Chicken Cordon Bleu - eight 6 oz breaded chicken breasts stuffed with ham and swiss - for $10.50. And I'm happy to see they have Fair Trade coffee and locally bottled jam.
Beware evil grocery store conspiracy, we are on to you now!

Monday, February 5, 2007

role reversal

Last night I woke up with an earache. That hasn't happened in a long time. Just when we thought we were all healthy, too. I feel fine except my ear hurts.

I went in to the PA who covers my regular doctor. It's always kind of weird being a patient when I'm used to being the one with the stethoscope. I was happy to see my blood pressure was low and my resting heart rate was 56. Guess the exercisin' is paying off :-)

The nursing student asked me to "describe the pain." This is the thing now - "pain as the fifth vital sign" - but all I could think of was "it's an ACHE" (as in EAR ACHE, duh, but I resisted making smart remarks). Both the nurse and the PA agreed - I have a rip-roarin' case of otitis. I wish I could see it myself. They need to make a little flexible scope for that. I would buy one.

Pain does funny things to people. The nurse asked me my allergies and I told her, but in the back of my mind it seemed like I was forgetting something. Oh well. Then when the PA handed me the prescription, I remembered. Oh yeah, I'm allergic to that too. Write me another one please. The guy probably wrote "patient is a poor historian" in his notes. Oh well, I deserve it. Next time I have a patient in pain (which happens every clinic), I should remember to go easy on him.

Friday, February 2, 2007


On January 31, our furnace breathed its last. Cracked heat exchanger, or something like that. It's 20 years old. In our prior house, which was built in 1926, the furnace was from the 1940s and still going strong. They really don't make 'em like they used to.

We thought we had it all figured out. We put space heaters in both kids' rooms. The unforeseen problem was that when both are on, they tend to trip the circuit breaker. Great huh?

We got 3 bids on new furnaces. The "friend of a friend" saved us about $900, so we'll go with him. I'm looking forward to more efficiency and lower heating bills, and Bryan's looking forward to the new air cleaner/dust filter.

The joys of home ownership!