Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Year Of Courage

On my birthday, a few days after the New Year, we went out for dinner with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law. Everyone at the table made a toast at some point in the evening. Mine was To a year of Courage.

Courage: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty (Merriam-Webster).

Courage means being in action in the face of fear. If you experience no fear, you summon no courage. I think it's interesting that a word we associate with physicality (the image of a knight, sword in hand, going out to meet the dragon) is actually about mental or moral strength rather than physical force. Courage is the mental game behind the physical action - what goes on inside your head and gut as you leap (or crawl) into the unknown.

When Mikhail and I made a list of things we want to do this year, it included:

I would definitely say we are being successful with that one. Because when you're in the middle of major transitions, when your life becomes make-it-up-as-you-go, when you're searching for purpose and vision and security and income, there's lots of scary stuff to do. It's inspiring and invigorating, confronting and exhausting -- often inside the same day.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Marital Aid

For Valentine's Day this year, I got the best gifts: a single white rose, and a new dishwasher. I realize I sound like a major housewife here, but ours had been broken for six weeks, and, spoiled by modern conveniences as I am, I did not fully realize how many hours of my day would be devoted to dishwashing without it. Especially with all three of us at home all the time. And Mikhail with a still-not-fully functional thumb that causes him to drop wet, slippery things and potentially break them. Mikhail and my dad installed the dishwasher most of the way themselves, then a contractor-friend came out to help Mikhail sand down the iron countertop-rail to make it fit.

Hail, domesticity!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ocean, I Miss You

We lived in San Diego for nearly three years, and whenever we visit I am amazed. Did we appreciate it enough? The ocean, the sunshine, the shorts in January?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Many Moods of Babyhood

My nephew Judah, exploring various emotional states.

Happy, sad, and asleep. That pretty much sums it up, doesn't it?

Little J survived his first encounter with his big cousin Elan.

Though he wasn't sure about posing for pictures.

Of course, these pictures were taken two months ago, so he's already much more mature.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Celebrating Mama's Birthday

My birthday was last month. It appears that Elan takes after me: love of chocolate has officially been selected from the gene pool. Except I am neater about how much ends up on my face. Though if you were at our wedding, which featured chocolate cake, you might disagree.