Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Well, poop!

I just got home after spending a great afternoon catching up with a friend to find a very unjoyful smell in my house.

I don't want to embarrass her, but Mocha's been having some behavioral issues the past few weeks, manifesting through finding items to chew up. So far the casualties have been; two rolls of ribbon, a roll of painter's tape, tissue from a gift bag, the little box of candy I brought home from a baby shower, a paint stick, several pens, a piece of the neighbor's mail and last night, a CD liner and case. At least she's honest about it and always leaves her doings in the middle of the living room carpet. We think she must be getting anxious about the impending addition to our lives and other big changes coming, because she hasn't done this sort of thing at all until about two months ago. Anyway, after cleaning up the shattered CD case last night, we were talking about how at least she's not using the bathroom inside as we've heard some anxious dogs do.

Well, I take that back now. She's very fortunate I love my husband, that's all I'm going to say. Anyway, this is the month I'm posting about choosing joy, so onward we go with the previously scheduled joy finds.

We took our childbirth class on Saturday, choosing to go with a six-hour "express" class rather than drag it out over a few weeks. I think the instructor did a great job covering a massive amount of material. In a class of 10 couples, we were due the soonest and also the only ones who were waiting to find out the gender. Except for us (but maybe including us?), the class fell right into the statistic of this being the year of the boy. The instructor said 2010 was the highest rate (by a big margin, like 80:20) of boy conception that she'd ever seen and the trend had been consistent all year. She told the 2 couples expecting girls to go ahead and get the shotguns now, because there might be a shortage in a few years!

There was a stack of little footstools on the materials table, which she explained were available for us and our swollen ankles (fortunately, I haven't experienced this yet, but I still partook!). The joy here was in watching the daddies get up one by one throughout the first hour and grab the stools for their baby mammas. (And yes, those are my charity:water TOMS, which I love and are no longer available this time around.)

Since we're on the topic of shoes, here's the next joy. John got on a shoe-polishing kick this weekend, during which I learned something new about him. He told me he used to earn extra money in boot camp by polishing the other soldier's boots. This didn't surprise me, as he used to polish my black boots back when the Air Force uniform included them, and they always received compliments on their shine. I knew I married well, but come on, I got a guy who can shine shoes AND is super cute to boot! I'm so blessed!

 These are the socks my sister and I wait all year to wear. (We're half Jewish, you know) She's showing her's off with her Christmas tree, and I was trying to get a shot of the Cowboys winning in the background of mine, but it didn't turn out well. (I mean, they won, but the picture wasn't good.)

Now, this was a really joyful find. See the little metal stick with the ring on top? That is a cake tester from Pampered Chef that I thought I'd lost. Pampered Chef makes a lot of great tools, but some are really unnecessary. Most people test their baked goods by sticking a knife or a toothpick in them, and that works just fine. But I just love this little tool because it doesn't leave a gaping hole in the item and is easy to just wipe off and have ready for the next use. I was looking for a replacement tester and found out Pampered Chef doesn't make them anymore. Sadness. Then, I found mine. Joy!

Here's what I was baking that I needed the tester for. I was excited to use this recipe for Chai Latte Cupcakes posted by my high school best friend, Sommer, for a sweet treat at the Women's Advent service at my church. It was so fun to bring these cute, unique and tasty treats, and plug my Pampered Chef items as well (I sell Pampered Chef, so I like to talk about it!). For these, I used the mini-muffin tin to bake them (in the above picture), easy accent decorator to, um, decorate them, and the rectangle cranberry platter to serve them. Joy is easy to share when it looks this good!

Speaking of the Advent service, that was an AMAZING time of blessing and joy. After enjoying the delicious spread of savory and sweet items, we gathered in the candlelit sanctuary for a service of songs, Scripture and poetic readings, dance and a testimony. Can you guess the theme this year? Joy. Of course.

I was asked to do one of the poetic readings, and while practicing at home, I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to get through the whole thing without a few breaks for drying tears. Here's the poem I was assigned (and Joy #14):

Participating in the service was another joy!

The First Coming
by Madeleine L’Engle

He came
            Throwing off glory
            Like fiery suns
            Leaving power behind
            Leaving the storms of hydrogen clouds,
            The still-forming galaxies,
            Totally vulnerable
            As he emptied himself

She took him in-
            Into the deepest part of her being;
            She contained the tiny Word
            Smaller than the smallest
            Subatomic particle
            Growing slowly
            From immortality into mortality,
            Mother and child
            Together in the greatest act of love
            The Maker could give the made

Together they created
            Immortality from mortality
            How? His father was Who?

He looked like any child
            From the vulnerable top
            Of his tiny skull
            To the little curling toes

This whispered Word made
            The sun and stars,
            Wind and water,
            Planets and moons, and all of us
            But he left this joy
            To be

God With Us!
            Understanding lowly shepherds
            And two old people in the Temple.
            Later three wise men-
            One from each human race-
            Came, pondering.
            Most of the powerful people
            Were skeptical at best
            God become Son of Man? Nonsense.

Christ will come,
            Expected or unexpected,
            When God is ready,
            Even while we are loudly demanding
            Signs and proofs
            Which close our hearts and minds
            To the Wildness of Love

Word of Love,
            Enter our hearts
            As you entered the virgin’s womb.
            Come, Lord Jesus!

I actually made it through the actual reading with only a little throat clenching on my part, but got some tears out of some others! Oh, to be able to write poetry like that!

Tonight we're working on what I hope will be Joy #16. Stay tuned!


  1. EW! And Cool! And YUM! And so so sweet! :)

  2. Considering our conversation today, I'd like you to know that the cake tester and other tools I know are in your kitchen totally count as a plus. :-)
    The cupcakes look amazing. I need to make those.

  3. What a beautiful poem. Very moving. Thanks for posting that cupcake recipe too. I will definitely try it out.


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