Wednesday, April 24, 2013

20 months

Where are my babies?  B&F are now 20 months old, which means two things...1) they are way closer to two than one, and 2) I only have four months to plan their second birthday party.  What are we loving these days?

  • Hot wheels.  They both love to line up their cars and make them "vroom vroom" on every surface available.  The school bus and garbage truck are particular favorites and have caused many fights.
  • Mardi gras beads.  Frances has 6 necklaces that she wears all day every day.  Obsessed.
  • Birds.  We have stools at our front windows and put a bird feeder outside, and B&F spend hours waiting and watching for birds.  Unfortunately we have mostly attracted squirrels, but B&F find them fairly entertaining as well.
  • Fruit.  I think my kids are fruitarians.  Except for sausage.  So fruit and sausage.
  • Our lovies.  It took them a while to catch on, but now they are super attached to the lovies that live in their cribs.  Their favorite thing is to get them all out while I'm getting ready upstairs, take them to the one bedroom with carpet, and lay on the floor cuddling with them.  Super sweet to sneak up on.
  • Animals.  We really love all animals.  Zoos of any size are a huge hit.  Just don't mind us if we bark at every single animal (we really love barking right now).
  • Being outside.  As the weather is warming, it's getting harder and harder to wrangle these kids back inside.  I love watching their sense of adventure blossom and can't wait to see what fun summer has in store.
  • Cleaning our hands.  They constantly point to the hand sanitizer and want to clean their little hands.  There are definitely worse habits.
  • Helping.  They like to think they are helping, even when their help is less than helpful.  I'm trying to brainstorm on how to best utilize this hobby.
  • Stickers.  Love them.  Want them on our feet.

Monday, April 15, 2013

we belong to each other

my sister's family

This weekend I was able to travel to Virginia to visit my sister and her family.  I had the privilege of spending a regular day with my nephew (almost 5) and two nieces (2 and 6 months), which is pretty rare.  Living so far apart, we are usually only together for special occasions, which can feel too busy and too scheduled for real quality time.  Saturday, though, we were able to leisurely enjoy the town they have fallen in love with, playing at the river, strolling downtown.

On the plane ride home, while reading one of my new favorite books Carry On, Warrior, I was thinking about how much we really do belong to each other.  Sure, I haven't seen my nephew and nieces in a year, but they are mine.  They are mine to pray for and lift up and protect and love.  Their little family and my little family are interwoven in so many ways.  And being in Indiana, I don't get to see my dear Tennessee friends often.  But they are mine.  They are mine to pray for and lift up and encourage on their journeys.  Despite time and distance, we truly do belong to each other.  We are a species wired for connection, made to crave community.  Luckily, that community need not be restricted by tangible boundaries.  Our communities can stretch and change and withstand and endure.

So as I was pondering all of this, the Boston Marathon bombing occurred.  I love marathons.  I have never run one (13.1 miles is enough for me), but I am inspired by those who do.  The endurance and strength a marathon requires is symbolic of so much in life.

After we put the twins to bed, we turned on the news and watched the images now seared on America's mind.  Horrific.  Senseless.  Terrifying.  But what most struck me the first time I saw the film of the bombs exploding was that so many, including police, military personnel, and civilians, rushed toward the blasts.  Rather than running away, they ran towards the injured.  They rushed into danger for the sake of strangers in need.  They get it.  They know that we belong to each other.  That we ALL belong to each other.

Prayers and love to all those affected today.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


It's official, the Shafer girls are going to be outnumbered.  That's right, it's a BOY!!!  We are thrilled to be welcoming another son...though we're not sure what Frances's thoughts on the situation are.

I just love finding out the sex of our baby.  For me, at least, it makes the baby more real.  I can take this little one out of the "it" column and plant him firmly in the "him."  I can think about names and nursery and clothes and all things blue.  I can more concretely dream of what his precious life will be like.

We are thankful.  We are excited.  And we are trying to prepare for the onslaught of trucks/trains/balls that is sure to fill our home.