23 April 2012


Every day at breakfast, Yonah asks me a question. It's always the same.

"So, what's for dinner tonight?"

I'll think for a minute, weighing the ingredients we have against what I know the kids will eat, which is then weighed against what I'm willing to make (or eat). Then my answer is given.

Every single day, I hear something in response. It is not always worded the same, but the suggestion never changes. Today, this was the version I heard:

"Hmm. Well, I think we should have noodles instead. Noodles matches dinner better, don't you think?"


Over the past year, I have come to hate noodles.

Ask either of them what they want to eat, and you'll get the same answer.

Yonah's "How about some noodles?"

Or Arabelle's "Nunus!"

Sometimes I can convince them that macaroni and cheese or ravioli count as noodles. But those times are pretty rare. Most of the time, "noodles" just means spaghetti. Or ramen noodles.

On the plus side, at least there is something they will eat every time it's made.

21 April 2012


Today, Arabelle got a My Little Pony sort of toy with very long mane and tail, accompanied with a comb and two barrettes. Tonight she wanted my help combing the hair. After fashioning the mane according to her preferences, I handed the toy back to her.

She very delicately took it from me, mouth curved into a slight 'o' of excitement, and whispered . . .

"She has a ponytail."

I smiled. Then something occurred to me and I just had to mention it.

"Hey, Arabelle. Your pony has a ponytail."

She stared at me. And then her face lit up with a big smile. Her eyes sparkled as she laughed.

06 April 2012

the little things

What better way to spend the afternoon than in the library's not-so-quiet corner for children, rocking in a chair with a baby snuggling on one's lap, idly supervising the older children as they play with toys and look at books.

02 April 2012

the big picture

Last week I submitted a painting to my church's newest art exhibit, Overcome. All the accepted submissions were arranged in the hallway/gallery on Saturday. They will remain up for several months.

I'd thought my painting brilliant. It is certainly my best so far. Not perfect in technique (something I'm still learning), but perfect to me. Beyond all the time I put into its creation; beyond all the care and effort it took from me; beyond all of that, it portrays my daily battle against depression in a very tangible way. It means something to me.

But seeing it among the other paintings submitted to the exhibit was humbling. Truly humbling. My work fades into everything else. It is simply a piece of a great collection. A smaller piece. In fact, I do not know if anyone would miss it if it were not there.

I didn't submit my painting for recognition or a blue ribbon, but even so I felt at a loss. It is so big to me that seeing it look any less big is a bizarre experience.

The painting is like my life.

I am so close to the stresses, dramas, and problems of my life that they seem huge. But if I take a step back I see that I am only an minuscule piece of the big picture. My problems are inconsequential. The world truly does not revolve around me.

My life is trivial in the grand scheme of things, yet at the same time it is also important. Humans are not isolated beings. Remove my minuscule piece and all the lives that I have touched, all the lives I will touch, will remain untouched. It may not be a devastating change, but it just might change the shape of the big picture.