Sunday, April 24, 2011

happy birthday, jenny rigney

Almost a month ago, I celebrated my 34th birthday. My friend Jenny wrote the nicest post that I could ever have imagined. It made me cry. Since she's the easiest person in the world to affirm, and since today is her birthday, I thought I'd write a post just for her.

Here are 29 things I love about Jenny Rigney on her 29th birthday!

1. I have Jenny on a culinary pedestal. Best pasta, best salsa, best sweet potato casserole, etc. In my book, she wins the blue ribbon for every single thing she makes. (And if she needs a judge or taste tester, I would oblige her every time.)

2. Jenny encourages me by her example to be tender towards my children.

3. Jenny is wise beyond her years. (Of course, in my mind she'll always be 25ish and thus will always seem so.) She is sensitive to the truth and unwilling to compromise it.

4. She's slightly intentional when it comes to teaching her first born. At 22 months, he can identify all the letters in the alphabet, he knows his left from his right and he knows a little catechism too.

5. She has modeled to me serving while suffering. While she endured years of infertility, she served friends in need who were mothers.

6. She honors her mother and her father. And makes me cry in the process.

7. She makes the most best lists!

8. She shares her brilliant ideas and recipes.

9. She says she's picky, but she really isn't. For example, if she doesn't like a certain vegetable, she'll find a recipe that makes it palatable. (Most people who actually are picky, don't admit it. boo.)

10. She fights for her faith. She hasn't surrendered to doubt even when the storms have come.

11. She has a beautiful smile. See?!

12. I love how Jenny often asks me, "What are the top five things on your mind?" or "What are the top three things that stir your affections for Christ?" She wants to have meaningful conversation. She's not interested in killing time.

13. She has mad interior design skillz. She (and Joe!) took on a quite the project when they bought their home (just two blocks away from me!!!). It had been uninhabited for two years. It had a ton of potential, but it basically looked like a crack house. And now, it's pretty much the CUTEST house on the block. I love her ability to make a beautiful yet very comfortable environment.

14. She has THE most hilarious stories.

15. My favorite comedy moment with her was documented on her blog. It STILL makes me laugh OUT loud when I think of it. Last October, she went to Old Navy and Target several times to pick a costume for her son Sam. She kept telling me about this banana costume at Old Navy. Finally, one day we met up at Old Navy and sure enough she tried that banana costume on Sam again, but it just didn't seem right...even though the label said it went up to 50 lbs (what?). As we were waiting in line, I saw the costume again and something caught my eye that took my breath away as I laughed hysterically. Apparently, Sam had been trying on a banana costume for a dog all this time.

16. Oh, by the way, she also makes me laugh on purpose. She is so stinkin' funny!

17. Jen challenges me to be a more thoughtful wife to my husband. When our husbands first heard about the flag football league at our church, she said, "I'll do anything I can to make sure he can play! He really needs an athletic outlet." Wow. I usually think, "I'll do anything I can to make sure my husband doesn't break a limb. I really need him to do a lot of things around the house." But, she was right! (And they both play flag football, btw!)

18. She gives. Salsa. Time. Her heart. Her tears. Oh man, Jenny gives!

19. She loves organization. Exhibit A (that's her pantry!)

But she's not obsessed. Exhibit B (that's her toddler after dumping out a container of sprinkles!)

20. I can trust her because she loves Jesus more than she loves me.

21. She's spontaneous. Most times when we hang out it's not planned at all.

22. She loves. She truly loves her friends. She loves people. She loves her family.

23. Jen is ALWAYS thinking of ways to serve others. The most unlikely word in the world I would use to describe her is "self-serving."

24. Jen is a praying friend. She talks to God. And she prays for me and my family.

25. She has taken the most amazing pictures of my family. I absolutely LOVE her photography. I don't understand the craft at all. I know people think that the camera deserves the credit. Well, I have definitely proved them wrong. I have taken pictures with her camera and they were HORRIBLE!!!! She's a wonderful photographer!

26. She's happy. She's joyful. There is nothing Debby Downer about her. When her toddler messes up her home, she laughs. She has a sparkly kind of smile.

27. She gave me Loving the Little Years for no particular reason. Did I mention that she gives?

28. She teaches without giving you the impression that she's teaching. And maybe because she's not. She's just sharing. But, because she is so reflective and thoughtful and wanting to practically apply all things she's learning, I'm learning right along with her.

29. Jen dances in public. No matter how pregnant she is. I love her for that.

Jen, I really could keep going, because you are an amazing person. I am incredibly glad to call you friend and neighbor and sister in Christ.

If you'd like to add to the list, please do! Tell Jenny what YOU love about her!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

loving my kids

My friend, Jenny, is doing a book giveaway on her blog. All you have to do to enter the contest is leave a comment about what you love about your children.

I love Jenny for making me do this exercise. Here's what I wrote:

i love avery (10 yrs) for being my little man who helps me get his baby sister in her car seat when we are running late. i love the way he hums a tune when he's eating a favorite meal. i love how he beat-boxes like a champ. i love watching him play baseball.

i love miles (8 yrs) for engaging his imagination 150% of the time. and i love listening to him use big words. i love that he's the most natural snuggler in all the universe.

i love jillian (3 yrs) for her laugh, her expressive eyes, her tenderness that doesn't let me off the hook when i use a harsh word. i love that she knows the lyrics to more songs than i do.

i love phoebe (1 yr) for melting my heart every time i look at her. i love, love, love to feel her two chubby hands with slightly sharp fingernails (because it's really hard to keep everyone's nails trimmed all the time!) grab my chin to turn my head to look at her. i love her stinky morning breath and the way she laughs and says "mama!" when it's just been too long since we've seen each other.

Now, if you've got some kiddos (or grandkids? or nieces or nephews?), go check out her blog and leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Loving The Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches! I know if I don't win a copy, I'll be borrowing hers!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Up Next, After the Antique Road Show!

What were you up to while I was putting the girls to bed?

Watching a PBS documentary on the Russian Famine.

What happened?

It was really sad. It started with a drought. They didn't have any food. Finally, Americans sent corn, milk and potatoes. But not before the starving people dug up graves and ate the flesh of the dead. Ten butcher shops were shut down for selling human meat.

Sweet dreams buddy!

just to clarify...this was a conversation between Brent and Miles.