Posted by: urbanadventurertales | January 18, 2011

Livin the DREAM

And no, it doesn’t consist of 2.5 children, a white picket fence, pleasant suburban quietness, or a great 401K 🙂

It consists of this little black boy growing up and being able to freely marry this little white girl:

And their children having the freedom to play with other children of various backgrounds and hues…

Simple.  Though we still battle against injustice and prejudice…we have come a very very long way.

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for never passively accepting it, but dealing courageously confronting it.  Thank you for the sacrifice you and thousands of others made for our right to raise our family in a country that by-in-large accepts us as an interracial family.  May we continue to follow your example, fighting against evil and confronting it wherever we see it. 

We honor MLK Day in our house by doing something special as a family each year.  We started this tradition when I was pregnant with the twins.  This year, our work schedules prohibitted us from doing anything special on the actual day.  The Chef and I will watch The Great Debaters together and tomorrow we’ll take the boys to the Childrens Museum downtown to play as well as see the Civil Rights exhibit which is more age-appropriate for them.

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Posted by: urbanadventurertales | January 10, 2011

Maternity pics

My sister used my camera equipment yesterday to capture some pics of me and all my boys.  Here’s a few of my favorite shots.  Thanks Sara!!!

Posted by: urbanadventurertales | January 8, 2011

5 lbs. of baby, 25 lbs. of extra mommy….

Ugh.  I’m packing on the lbs. too much in this pregnancy!  I gained a total of 37 lbs. with the twins.  I’m already up to 30 lbs. with this one baby!  I had my appt. this week with the doctor and everything is looking great.  She thinks the baby is right around 5 lbs. right now and I’m measuring 34 weeks.  Blood pressure is good, heartbeat is good.  Weight gain is not-so-good.  Let’s just says I’ve gained 1/3rd of it in the past month.  What the heck!?  How do you pack on 10 lbs. in a month!?  This momma is really looking forward to breastfeeding and the calorie-burning benefits 🙂  A lot of my clothes aren’t fitting but I refuse to buy new ones as this is probably my last pregnancy and I don’t want to buy clothes that I’ll only wear for another 6 weeks. 

Here’s to the home-stretch!

Posted by: urbanadventurertales | January 3, 2011

Reflections on the year and looking ahead…

I’ve kept this blog relatively light because I don’t want to get too personal for all the web to view!  However, I think it’s important to keep a record of God’s faithfulness so we can look back and remember. 

2010 has undoubtedly been a difficult year for us.  Last year at this time I was in a job that was very difficult for me.  The Chef was in graduate school full-time and I bore the weight of providing financially which was very difficult for our family.  The boys turned 2 in April and became quite challenging to parent.  Though we certainly had some enjoyable times, we both felt that age 2-2.5 was extremely taxing. 

I was able to get a new job at the hospital taking newborn photos in May and it was a huge relief, and huge sign of God’s faithfulness to us.  Not only did it provide for us better financially, but it was a much better fit for me!  My photography business continued to grow and to date I’ve had over 70 clients in the past year!  What an unexpected blessing!  It’s kept me very busy, but I certainly am thankful. 

We got the unexpected news that we were expecting baby #3 during the summer.  Admittedly, I was quite overwhelmed.  Between working at the hospital, my own photo business, the Chef in school, and dealing with an extremely challenging parenting stage…I just didn’t understand the timing.  However, I am very thankful and grateful that God has allowed us to conceive another miracle and I trust He will provide us with what we need to parent a new little one. 

At the end of the summer, we were thrown for quite a loop when the doors closed for the Chef to continue grad school at this time.  Financially it just did not make sense for him to continue and so we were forced to find new housing and re-configure our plans.  Though at the time, it made absolutely no sense to us…it has turned into one of the biggest blessings of the year.  We moved closer to my job, he was hired on at the same agency full-time (I work part-time) and we are climbing our way out of debt, living in a much nicer condo that meets our family’s needs beautifully, and in a neighborhood that we are growing to love and have compassion for as we see the brokenness around us.  Another great and unexpected blessing has been the opportunity for the Chef to branch off of my photography business to do one of his passions- videography and graphic arts!!  This is something he’s loved and studied in undergraduated but never was able to use as means of income until now.  It’s very exciting to see God opening the doors for this (more details to be revealed soon!)

I was challenged this morning through the sermon to look towards Jesus to see what God is doing instead of having expectations of exactly how God SHOULD work in our lives.  If we look to Jesus and his example without expectation, we are able to be blessed and bless others.  We look forward to the coming year and where we will witness and be part of God working.

Happy 2011!

Posted by: urbanadventurertales | December 29, 2010

Resident Sous Chefs

We have a couple of Chef-in-the-making living with us right now.  One of their favorite things is to help us cook or bake anything.  They got a new kitchen for Christmas and love making different meals with it and bringing us various foods from their fridge. 

Malachi helped the Chef make a smoothie today.

putting in the berries

tasting the fruits of his labor 🙂

mmmmm….

meanwhile Lincoln prepared some tomatoes and soup for me…

Posted by: urbanadventurertales | December 28, 2010

So, this won’t be mailed out this year…

Seeing as I’ll be sending out a birth announcement in February, and the fact that I was most definitely not on the ball this year with getting these printed in time… this will have to suffice for our Christmas card!  The Chef designed it and I think he did a fantastic job.  I have quite a few ideas for the baby’s birth announcement so you can look for that in the mail in a couple months 🙂 

Merry-belated Christmas!

Posted by: urbanadventurertales | December 27, 2010

A good holiday laugh…

This is the funniest blog post I’ve seen in a long time!  I took holiday photos for my cousin Trisha and she blogged about their Christmas card fiasco.   Click here!

I’ll be posting our Christmas card later tonight.  The Chef designed it and we are yet to get it out in the mail (sorry!)

Posted by: urbanadventurertales | December 23, 2010

Imaginative play

This morning after breakfast the boys decided that daddy should wear the Santa “cape” (aka old Christmas tree skirt) and Santa hat and they would be the reindeer and fly Santa’s sleigh. 

Then decided that they would sit on Santa’s lap.  Still dressed as reindeer.

And then Lincoln decided he would turn into a monster. 

And then turn into the character Swiper from Dora the Explorer cartoon and swipe Santa’s cape. 

Funny side-note:  Last night Lincoln wanted to sit on the toilet after his bath.  We sat with him for awhile, encouraging him to go.  Eventually he looked at me and said, “Dis not workings Mommy.”  LOL 🙂

Posted by: urbanadventurertales | December 20, 2010

Product review: Scotch easy cutter and pop-up tape

These products were being advertised this year and we decided to give them a whirl…

The easy cutter claims to be a fast and easy way to cut wrapping paper while maintain clean lines and edges.  Verdict:  Waste of money!  It was very difficult to use, especially when trying to start cutting a new line.  It would crinkle up the edges and I ended up using regular scissors to fix the mistakes. 

The easy pop-up tape was a decent investment.  You’re able to easily get a pre-cut piece of tape out of the dispenser while maintaining a hold of your wrapping paper.  The initial product comes with the pre-cut tape, but once you  run out, you have to replace.  There’s about a full roll’s worth in the package.  So as long as you’re willing to replace the tape, it’s pretty easy to use.

Posted by: urbanadventurertales | December 10, 2010

Navigating the holidays and the choices we make

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently about the different traditions that certain families choose to participate in/forego…and it got me thinking about the choices we’re making with our children now that they’re reaching an age where they’re starting to understand more.

I would say (for the most part) we’re following the same traditions as our families.  There are a few exceptions which I’ll highlight and then I want to expound upon the “Santa vs. no Santa” debate.

1.  Thanksgiving:  Pilgrims and Indians.  Though not discussed at all this year, this is a tradition we will not be celebrating in our home.  Having spoken with First Nations (Native American) people, we want to be sensitive to the deep-seeded pain that is associated with the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday.  Though I’m sure there were some amicable relationships formed between the Europeans and First Nations people, it is also signal of the “beginning of the end” for their way of life.  With the European flock and claim to their land came an extremely horrific genocide of an entire nation of people.  Somehow the frivolty of dressing up as pilgrims and Indians during Thanksgiving has lost it’s luster for me.  I’m not quite sure yet how we’ll approach this holiday with our children (suggestions are welcome!)  We won’t be encouraging them to play Cowboys and Indians either.

2.  The Nativity scene.  We have very little religious paraphenalia in our home, quite intentionally.  It’s not that we don’t want our children to be exposed on a daily basis to Christianity and the stories and life of Jesus.  We talk about him and pray to him every day with them.  What we are being very intentional about is the images of Jesus that we display in our home.  It might be a somewhat trivial thing to many of you, but we feel strongly that it’s important that the first images of Jesus that our children see are as close as possible to the true origin of Christ.  In our country, we are littered with images of Euro-Jesus.  And I have to say that having grown up with that image, whenever I pray, that image is what pops into my head first.  Why does it matter?  Jesus loves everyone and it doesn’t matter what color he was, right?  I would beg to differ.  While ultimately his color won’t matter (in Heaven), we live in a fallen, prejudice, and racially-driven world.  White is often viewed as good/right.  Dark is seen as bad/wrong.  In developing their identities in Christ and view of the world/compassion for it… we want them to have an image of who Jesus was, a man with darker skin.  We are on the hunt for children’s bible stories and artwork that will depict this more accurately.  Please let me know if you have anything!  The one piece of Christmas art that I display is this beautiful stocking that the Chef had made for me when we were engaged.  It’s a nativity scene that depicts the darker-skinned version of Mary/Joseph/Jesus.  I treasure it. 

3.  The Santa vs. no Santa debate.  Often times the argument against Santa is that parents believe that they are lying to their children and why should they trust them about Jesus, when they lied to them about Santa.  Honestly, I’m yet to meet someone who was raised to believe in Santa and Jesus that turned away from their faith in Jesus when they found out Santa was just a story.  Both the Chef and I were raised to believe in Santa (and Jesus) and we have very fond memories as children of the magical feeling at Christmastime and the excitement over the story of Santa.  This in no way took away from our belief and reverence for Jesus.  It’s fun to see the beautiful child-like faith that the boys have in both stories right now.  I’m confident that as they get older they will be able to differentiate between what is real and what is a story.  In fact, if we really believe in the Holy Spirit, we know he will guide them as they have a relationship with Him to know that Jesus is true, regardless of the child-like stories and traditions they grew up with.  Again- not judging any parent and what they choose to do regarding this debate.  Just stating what our opinion on the matter is 🙂 

And we finally have a fireplace this year (though not working)!  The boys helped me put up our stockings yesterday and we had a great time.  They love to recite whose stocking belongs to whom. 

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