Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Some new pictures

I have trouble finding time to blog these days, but wanted to post a few pictures. My sweet dad got tickets for us to attend the Notre Dame football game last week. We got there early, had lunch with friends, rooted our hearts out, and returned in time for trick-or-treating. The perfect fall day.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Isabelle's day in the city

When I was little, my mom took each of us on a "mother's day out." Basically it was a chance to have some one-on-one time with mom as well as get in a little shopping. Yesterday, I took Isabelle for a day in the city. We went to the zoo, shopped around, and visited the cultural center (they had an amazing Louis Sullivan exhibit). For a 6 year old, Isabelle was really taken with the Chicago architecture and began taking pictures of the sights. These are a few of my favorites.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Father's Day

I love this picture of my dad. He's big and strong - and surrounded by so many kids.

As I look at this picture now, I think that he is actually about my current age. I realize - how he must have realized - that one never does feel grown up or ready for one's responsibilities.

In fact, how totally overwhelming it must have felt - to have so many children dependent upon him.


Throughout this pregnancy, Bobby has been amazing. Cooking meals without asking, taking the girls on errands when I seem spent and even bringing me little treats (magazines, icecream, coffee drinks) just to be nice.

I was thinking that it must take a little while for men to understand that having a baby is hard work - and some pregnancies are more difficult than others - some days more trying - and you never know how the physical demands will effect your ability to get things done.

But I have been so busy trying to make Bobby understand how I feel, that I have had little time to consider his position. For example, I decide to work - or not work with little more thought than considering if I have time to knit. For Bobby - whether to work would never be an option. The luxury of "considering what he's good at" is a thing of the past. There are scary financial concerns looming over him - concerns that I care about and then forget about...


Today I met my friends Beth and Jared at the airport. They were returning from Ethiopia with their new little baby, Lucia. What a precious little thing she is, too. But on my drive home, I kept thinking about Jared. He was hesitant to share much information about the trip - not because it didn't affect him - quite the opposite. The whole experience affected him too profoundly to speak of casually. What's more, I could already see adoration for that little girl in his eyes.

I guess I'm just starting to realize how much I have misunderstood - well men! Not that they're all the same or anything - but with the important men in my life, I think I've dismissed them in a way, simply because they communicate a bit differently than my female family and friends. I've misread and possibly misjudged - and this has prevented me from truly appreciating them.

So as I look at this picture again with fresh eyes, I see a loving father - who took time out to take his many children swimming. I see a dad who was willing to be silly, energetic, and patient - when there were more pressing things to be done - probably even a much needed nap! For skipping the nap and so much more, I want to thank you, Dad. I love you. Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Weekend in Review"

Sweet Molly prepares a "Week in Review" for her in-laws to see what the Chesterton Sabourins have been up to. Following her example, I've decided to post a little "weekend in review" for my family that's away.

Early Friday morning Bobby left for Guatemala. Although I haven't been able to talk to him by phone, we have emailed and he sent a couple of pictures:

Bobby at Vespers

Bobby with a resident of the Orphanage

I am so interested to hear details. From what he says, the orphanage is actually located in a violent section of Guatemala City and is surrounded by huge gates. The generous women of my book club here in Chesterton donated spiral notebooks, clothes, seeds for planting, and more for Bobby to take. We're so grateful for their help!

In his absence, the girls and I were faced with the choice of sitting around the house bickering or finding an adventure. We chose the later and decided on a children's museum in St. Joseph's, MI (about 30 miles up the lake Michigan coast):

Isabelle wants a rock climbing wall in our new house.

They both loved face painting!

Jane loved the water exhibit.

All in all it was a successful trip - complete only by the huge carousel ride!

Coming home is a different thing, though. It makes me realize just how much Bobby does with the girls! Thank goodness for our local library's plentiful supply of princess movies.

Oh - some other very good news: We found out Friday evening that Isabelle is accepted into Discovery Charter School. Check out the school's website - I think it looks really great.

I did want to include this, too:

Although a less than flattering shot, I had to include something that documented this pregnancy. I mean, I've reached the 6 month mark - Yea!!

Anyway - it's been a full weekend and we're only at Saturday night. Tomorrow Molly is having us over for Mother's Day. And while I would love to be celebrating your birthday with you tomorrow, Dad, and Mother's Day with you, Mom, I'm grateful that Tonya and Molly are just around the corner - especially with Bobby out of the country!

We love you all!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mondays with Mary

On Mondays, my little niece Mary comes to play. Although she's small in stature, Mary's personality is anything but little. She's a born performer with big ideas and big style and is the perfect companion for my two girls. She falls just about between them, age wise, and although there's always a few, "you huurt my feelings," for the most part there's harmony.

Today they played store - for hours. Representative of our crazy little town, their store featured baked goods, beaded necklaces and art. And with giggling girls as background noise, I was able to complete work for Ancient Faith Radio (most of which is due on Mondays) and Bobby was able to work mostly uninterrupted.

Thank you, sweet Mary. What would we do without you?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 25

Today my sister, Tiffany, would be turning 35. It's weird for me to think of her as "old," since that is something she never was. But she was my contemporary. Just 17 months younger than me, we hit developmental stages at roughly the same time and so my dreams of her continue in this fashion. I dream that she has kids too, or that (and I really like this one) she comes to visit and cleans my kitchen. When I wake from such dreams, I sometimes keep imagining. I picture her more than willing to stay in our cold basement (it serves as our guest room), but also could see her winning my little girls over and ending up snuggling in bed with them. I guess I will always really miss her - the her that she was when we were growing up, the tormented her of her 20s, but also all that she might have become.

This past week - well into Lent and still deep in winter snow - has seemed pretty dark. Part of it, I'm sure, is that I'm always sad this time time of year. My body remembers to grieve before my mind. Plus - the lack of light and fresh air really take it's toll. It's late February when I start looking for real estate in Texas and cursing the very snow that looked so picturesque just weeks before.

But it seems like like this February was worse than "normal." It's one thing to grieve, but quite another to despair. I wandered around for a few days feeling sorry for myself until I realized what was really going on. In truth, it has not been the pain of loss causing my sadness. No, embarrassingly enough, it was my choice to focus on the meaningless superficial distractions of life. Oh my house is just so small, our finances never improve - and on and on. I witnessed first hand how dwelling in the muck of greed, vanity or jealousy just poisons you.

To be honest, I was actually a bit grateful to come back to grief. There is something very pure about grief that forces you to face your faith head on. Is God real? And if He is, what the hell are you doing? I mean in the light of God's presence, my girls' lack of matching bedroom furniture seems awfully petty.

In the Orthodox Church, we refer to the Lenten experience as a "bright sadness." I love that - and in many ways, that is how grieving is for me. It's no doubt painful - but also beautiful, because behind it lies meaning, purpose - and God. Sin is not like that - sin just takes you down deeper into more insecurity, more pain and no hope.

This lent, Bobby and I are also celebrating another pregnancy. Only three months in, I'm still really nervous. The wound of losing our little baby Adrian is quite fresh - and I'm scared of feeling that pain again. What's keeping me going, however, is the realization that it is not grief or loss that causes despair. It's sin. I can truly feel more pain just sitting around focusing on the weight I'm gaining, the anthropologie catalogue, or our how we "never go to the city anymore." Isn't that ridiculous? Letting sinful thoughts percolate unattended, will inevitably lead to misery. And truly, I'm tired of that. As scary as it is, - I'd rather put forth the effort - for confession, prayers, services, communion that enable me to experience God's presence now.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Through Isabelle's eyes

For Christmas, Isabelle got a new camera. She's only six, so this was a pretty "big girl" present. But her grandmother and I knew (based on past history with her dolls) that she would care for it with the responsibility required. This past weekend she used the camera to document a conference we attended in Louisville. Both her daddy and aunt Molly spoke at the conference. I was glad she was there to capture the event.

More interesting to me, though, was flipping through the photos on her pink digital "vivicam" - viewing what she chose to capture. (Yes, the ones of me on the phone were a bit eye opening). It made me thankful that she was being exposed to Christian adults - who treasured both her and their faith. But mostly it made me keenly aware that she was real - a little person observing, listening, and absorbing the life around her.

I remember worrying so much about the type of foods I was eating when I was nursing Isabelle. I wanted so desperately to give her the highest quality of nutrition possible. How much more important are my words, my responses, my attitude towards her - and to her dad. Yikes.

During her speech, Molly passed out a copy of a prayer. It's called simply, "Parents Prayer" and it made me cry when I read it. It made me realize how many times I have confused impatience and irritation with discipline.

"Oh Heavenly Father, make me a better parent," the prayer begins. "Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting them or contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me...Reduce, I pray, the meanness in me. And when I'm out of sorts, help me, O Lord, to hold my tongue. May I ever be mindful that my children are children and I should not expect from them the judgment of adults..."

Oh my precious little Isabelle, forgive me! I hope that as I parent you, I can learn to look a bit more though your eyes - instead of always pushing my own mom agenda. Oh - and thank you for giving me permission to use your photos on my blog! You're one amazing little girl.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Do what you can

Today at Molly's house, we discussed the tragedy in Haiti. Impulsive and sad, I contemplated adopting Haitian orphans. Not really a plan of immediate assistance considering I would have to find an agency, do a home study, get accepted and pay 20,000. Perhaps a goal to work towards...

Anyway, Molly had a much more realistic plan. International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is requesting assistance assembling emergency hygiene kits. Molly suggested that we request donations from our friends and neighbors and send the kits to IOCC. So, Molly, dear friend Kris, and I constructed the following email. We sent it to our local paper, our parishes, email tree and as many facebook friends we could think of in Northwest Indiana. I gotta say, planning has it's place, but actually doing something really feels great!


We are gathering much needed supplies for relief efforts in Haiti.The IOCC (International Orthodox Christian Charities) organization is asking for assistance in assembling desperately needed emergency hygiene kits. We (Paige, Kris, and I) will assemble these kits on SATURDAY, JANUARY the 23rd. We need your help!! Please review the following list and consider picking up, while your at the store, a few of these essential items. You can drop them off at my house (see address below) anytime before Saturday! If you have any questions, let me know!

Items needed:

hand towels
metal nail file or nail clippers
bars of soap (bath size, new and wrapped in original packaging)
toothbrushes (NO TOOTHPASTE)
one gallon zip lock bags
monetary donation towards shipping costs

Thank you sweet Molly for helping me live today. Thank you, Kris, for your ever present desire to help and serve - it's contageous!

Click HERE to find out more about IOCC's haitian relief efforts.