Friday, June 24, 2016

7 Quick Takes about a Flaming Grand Finale, Creepy Toys, and Father's Day Compliments from Yoda

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?

1


I passed my 6-week postpartum checkup with flying colors, and let me tell you there's not much funnier than a gynecologist with a sense of humor:

7 Quick Takes about a Flaming Grand Finale, Creepy Toys, and Father's Day Compliments from Yoda  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

I wish the picture had come out clearer, but the left stirrup says "I hate" and the right one says "this part."

Do I need to make a joke about that, or are we good? Good? Okay.

When I came home and Phillip asked how the appointment went, I mentioned the number the scale said when I stood on it and he asked with a straight face, "Pounds or tons?"

He's obviously the kind of man who likes to live dangerously.

2


My daughter finished a stressful project at school where every student was assigned to put together a presentation on a different country.

After it was all over, though, we weren't sure what to do with a 3'x4' tri-fold poster board full of information about Libya.

So...

7 Quick Takes about a Flaming Grand Finale, Creepy Toys, and Father's Day Compliments from Yoda  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

7 Quick Takes about a Flaming Grand Finale, Creepy Toys, and Father's Day Compliments from Yoda  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Goodbye, piece of cardboard that costs more than any piece of cardboard has a right to.

My daughter seemed excited, but I still wasn't sure how she felt about seeing her hard work literally going up in flames. So I asked her and she answered, "While I was making it I wanted to tear it into pieces and burn it most of the time, so it was fine."

Dreams do come true at the Evans household, people.

3


Another thing we're extremely excited about is the end of birthday season! In our house we have 4 birthdays within 18 days of each other, and we just threw the last party.

It basically feels like December in terms of stress, planning, and quantity of desserts consumed.

4


For his birthday my son got some pretty cool gifts, including a remote control tarantula that no one would admit to being too freaked out to pick up and turn off at first (but we all totally were.)

7 Quick Takes about a Flaming Grand Finale, Creepy Toys, and Father's Day Compliments from Yoda  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

7 Quick Takes about a Flaming Grand Finale, Creepy Toys, and Father's Day Compliments from Yoda  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

I'm guessing it came from the "Things Your Mom Will Love to Find Under the Couch While Vacuuming" collection at the Hallmark Store.

My son wasted no time learning to use it for evil instead of good, because I woke up the next morning to break up a fight over him driving it at his sister over the breakfast table.

5


It's been another whopper of a super-stressful week for us (I'm beginning to think that they don't make any other kind anymore,) and when Phillip came home from work he found me in the basement putting grout on some mosaic stepping stones I'd started two years ago.

Since they'd been sitting there half-finished and untouched for years, and I was doing that instead of the 7 or 8 pressing and urgent tasks that actually needed to be done at the moment, I can totally see why he was a little confused to see me working on them.

I know because he suggested (in a very loving tone) that some vital neuropathway in my brain might be missing.

I'm willing to admit the possibility.

6


How was Father's Day in your house? It was a fun time here and we always enjoy seeing what the kids come up with to make for Phillip.

The winner this year (am I allowed to say there are winners?) was this painting:

7 Quick Takes about a Flaming Grand Finale, Creepy Toys, and Father's Day Compliments from Yoda  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Seeing Yoda in a much cooler way now.

If you don't get it, just read it out loud. Feel free to copy for next year.

7


Finally! We are done with school, which means that the kids bring home about 3.7 tons of stuff that they claim somehow fit inside their desks during the school year.

Usually everything they bring home is pretty beat-up and threadbare, so I wanted to know why my daughter came home with a full pack of unsharpened pencils from the school supplies I'd bought her in August.

Then she showed me this.

7 Quick Takes about a Flaming Grand Finale, Creepy Toys, and Father's Day Compliments from Yoda  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Waste not, want not. The pencil edition.

As a person who loves saying "Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without," this is really quite beautiful.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

13 Funniest Marriage Moments

I have been married to this guy for 13 years today.

13 Funniest Marriage Moments -- Sometimes you've just got to laugh, especially if the last 13 years of your marriage has been filled with times like these.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

In the last 13 years we've had so much fun. So much fun, you guys, and I usually don't even like having fun. I'm a hard-core Type A workaholic. Phillip balances me out.

This being our anniversary, I got to thinking of all these hilarious moments from the last decade plus one year, and decided to share the top 13 with you all.

13 Funniest Marriage Moments -- Sometimes you've just got to laugh, especially if the last 13 years of your marriage has been filled with times like these.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

1. That time he lost me in Labor & Delivery. When I went into labor in the middle of the night with Baby #3, we drove to the hospital and he offered to drop me off at the door. Remembering last time when I had to waddle all the way from the parking garage while having contractions and leaking amniotic fluid (sorry for the visual), I happily agreed. I plopped down in a wheelchair in the lobby and waited for him to come get me; he parked the car and headed up to Labor & Delivery, assuming I'd meet him there. The admissions nurses probably still have a good old laugh about the guy who showed up that one time to have a baby without his wife.

2. When I accidentally told everyone Phillip was a college basketball star. When we moved to Ohio after college, Phillip started playing ball with some guys at church and I mentioned that he'd played intramurally at BYU. Somehow this turned into a rumor that he played on the college team and everyone just about lost their minds with excitement. Sorry, guys. Phillip is good but not that good.

3. One 4th of July weekend, Phillip took a mountain bike pedal through the leg in a biking accident so I took him to the ER. They showed us to an exam room and told him to lie on his stomach so they could look at the gouge in the back of his calf. When the nurse came in she balanced her clipboard on his buttcheek and told him that he had "nice legs for a biker." I think she meant not that many scars but I guess we'll never be totally sure.

4. All the times he's brought home weird food. This is never something I particularly enjoy at the time, but it's always good for a laugh later. Like the time he cooked us liver and we barely lived to tell about it. Or the time he invented the most self-loathing green smoothies ever. Or when he came home from the grocery store and made a stew using this:

13 Funniest Marriage Moments -- Sometimes you've just got to laugh, especially if the last 13 years of your marriage has been filled with times like these.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
In all fairness, I requested the beef tongue for an international recipe for educational purposes.

5. During one particularly intense semester of college during our first year of marriage, Phillip jumped out of bed in the middle of the night screaming and pointing at me because he had a nightmare that I was a math problem.

6. When he brought home a psychotic hamster. One of our girls wanted a hamster more than anything for Christmas one year, and so despite the fact that we are Not Pet People, he drove to PetSmart after they were in bed on Christmas Eve to get one. On the freeway coming home, it started ferociously trying to chew its way out of its cardboard box, and he had to keep stuffing socks in the holes to keep the thing from getting loose in the car and probably going straight for his jugular.

13 Funniest Marriage Moments -- Sometimes you've just got to laugh, especially if the last 13 years of your marriage has been filled with times like these.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Don't be fooled by the fuzzy cheeks. This is the face of a killer.

7. The year he gave me an ice scraper for Christmas. And it was the best present ever. I laughed until I cried.

8. Once a flying squirrel fell down our chimney and got trapped in our fireplace. I was at a loss for how to get the thing out (without letting it loose in the house,) but Phillip's engineering degree proved invaluable that day and he constructed a channel from the fireplace to the door and chased the squirrel through it with a broom. I wish that was our only story of the sort but it's not; we have a serious squirrel problem.

9. How he comes up with fun ways to announce our pregnancies to the kids. Once he told them, "Mom and I are making something. Well, mostly Mom, but I helped. Can you guess what it is?" Another time he gave them a math problem to solve, something like: take our street address, multiply by 2, subtract 50, and add the number of people in our family. The kids kept getting the answer wrong by one and finally he told them they were using the wrong number of people!

10. When he found a Christmas tree in our backyard. We're all for the authentic piney smell of a real Christmas tree, but we're also really cheap. One year we compromised by picking a scraggly Charlie Brown tree out of the woods behind our house and he cut it down with a hacksaw.

13 Funniest Marriage Moments -- Sometimes you've just got to laugh, especially if the last 13 years of your marriage has been filled with times like these.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
The branches were too puny to hold most of our ornaments, but it served its time and purpose well.
.
11. The time he took me to a death metal keyboard concert on a date. When the guy came out in a floor-length black leather trenchcoat I had the feeling this might be the strangest thing I'd ever seen. When he started to jam out on the keyboard to a song called "Screaming Head," I knew it for sure.

12. The day before I came home from the hospital with Baby #4, I asked Phillip to pick up some ibuprofen from CVS. He bought me this mondo 1,000-count bottle that could tranquilize a horse (I guess it looked like I was in a lot of pain.)

13 Funniest Marriage Moments -- Sometimes you've just got to laugh, especially if the last 13 years of your marriage has been filled with times like these.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Our children will inherit this when we die.

13. In the early years of our marriage, the media became fond of smashing couples' names together to make one name. 'Brangelina' and 'TomKat' were two we saw frequently splashed across the cover of OK! magazine. Those are alright, but I'm sure that nobody has a better couple name than 'Phillifer,' which now use to introduce ourselves at parties.


I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Life with Phillip is so much fun and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I might be tempted if you offered me a nap, but even then I'd say no. I'm way too curious about what hilarious stories we'll have 13 years from now.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

7 Quick Takes about How to Drive a Perfectionist Crazy, Channeling My Inner King of Pop, and Times You Shouldn't Use Google Voice Search

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?

1


Our neighbor's son called us for a favor, explaining that he was supposed to bring a music stand to his band concert that night but he'd broken his, and could he please borrow my daughter's stand?

Well, of course! We're always happy to help.

I folded up her stand and set it by the door, and less than an hour later my 4-year-old literally snapped off the top part that holds the music. What followed was one of the most ironic phone calls I've ever had to make.

2


After calling my neighbor back, the next order of business was to replace our broken stand. Our old wire one always felt a little flimsy (so maybe it wasn't all my 4-year-old's fault) so I went with one that seemed a little beefier.

Looks great, right?

7 Quick Takes about How to Drive a Perfectionist Crazy, Channeling My Inner King of Pop, and Times You Shouldn't Use Google Voice Search  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Wrong.

Oh, it's fantastic at holding sheet music, but if you're a perfectionist your eyes are already watering from this glaring assault on all your sensibilities as a human being:

7 Quick Takes about How to Drive a Perfectionist Crazy, Channeling My Inner King of Pop, and Times You Shouldn't Use Google Voice Search  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

For all you normal people who still don't see it, I'll do you a public service and just tell you that one row of holes doesn't line up with the rest of them! And once you see it you can't unsee it. I know, I've tried.

3


We also bought some new outdoor lights to put next to the garage doors to replace the dated ones that have been happily rusting there since 1995. We actually ordered seven of them, since we also have identical lights mounted outside the front door, back door, and along the deck.

Our credit card company immediately sent us a fraud alert. Not sure if it's because we bought 7 of them or because we don't buy nice stuff for our house so any home decor purchase sets off an alarm somewhere that our identity has definitely been stolen.

4


Despite spring cleaning our minivan, I found this under my son's car seat the other day:

7 Quick Takes about How to Drive a Perfectionist Crazy, Channeling My Inner King of Pop, and Times You Shouldn't Use Google Voice Search  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
So... Christmas in July is meant literally, no?

This is why I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.

5


When you put baby clothes in storage for a few years and then take them out again, a curious thing happens. Yellow spit-up stains that weren't there before are now really prominent.

I just got the 0-3 month hand-me-downs out of the attic for the baby (there came a point when even I had to admit he no longer fits in the size newborn clothes I kept jamming him into) and about half of them were looking pretty bad. I almost wondered if I should just throw them out.

But then I remembered reading about cleaning out baby poop stains on What's Up Fagans using sunshine, and I figured it was worth a try. I sprayed the worst ones with vinegar and laid them out on the deck.

7 Quick Takes about How to Drive a Perfectionist Crazy, Channeling My Inner King of Pop, and Times You Shouldn't Use Google Voice Search  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

And the sun is magic, you guys.

I didn't take close-up 'before' and 'after' pictures (you can see that at Katelyn's blog,) but holy cow. It was like they were brand new clothes again.

The next day I decided to throw my son's stinky soccer socks out there too, just to see what happened, and they smelled way better.

I'm halfway to becoming the dad on My Big Fat Greek Wedding, only with the sun instead of Windex. Unsightly blemish on your nose? Troublesome eczema? Burst appendix? Put some sunshine on it, you'll be fine.

7 Quick Takes about How to Drive a Perfectionist Crazy, Channeling My Inner King of Pop, and Times You Shouldn't Use Google Voice Search  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

6


I'm loving one of my birthday presents, a Kevlar glove for the accident-prone (ahem) to wear when using sharp kitchen instruments, such as their mandoline for slicing vegetables.

7 Quick Takes about How to Drive a Perfectionist Crazy, Channeling My Inner King of Pop, and Times You Shouldn't Use Google Voice Search  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

So far I haven't cut myself once and I kind of like how it makes me look like Michael Jackson.

7


We've lost our camera for the time being, so I've been taking a lot of pictures with my phone until we find it again.

I really like my new phone, but since it's got an extra-big screen I'm sometimes having trouble taking photos with it. Especially since I'm often holding a baby (or shielding the baby from his siblings) and only have one free hand.

Thinking there might be some tips and tricks or some kind of one-handed mode I don't know about, I used Google voice search (remember, I've only got one hand) to ask my phone to look up "taking pictures with a phablet."

It misunderstood me and searched for "taking pictures of a fat butt." Not a whole lot of helpful information there, but thanks for trying, Google.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

So You're Babysitting My Daughter... Please Don't Give Her Food That Will Kill Her

Years ago when Phillip was getting tested for Celiac disease and I was freaking out about the possibility of never being able to cook with gluten again, I kept attempting to calm myself down by saying, "It'll be okay. At least it's not like a peanut allergy where eating the wrong thing could kill him."

Life, as it turns out, has a sense of humor and we later found out our daughter was allergic to peanuts after having her first PB&J. 

Ha, ha. It was, as Pee-Wee Herman used to say, so funny I forgot to laugh.

Initially we were all hopeful that she might grow out of it: her bloodwork looked promising and her reaction wasn't terribly severe. But as we take her back every year to get poked and prodded and retested (happy birthday to you, dear!) it doesn't appear that things are changing.

Scary Things People Don't Know About Peanut Allergies


We've adjusted to handling my daughter's peanut allergy at home, but what I really worry about is when she's not with me or Phillip.

At age 4, she's not old enough to scrutinize every food for hidden peanuts or use her own EpiPen if it comes to that, meaning she's at the mercy of whoever I leave her with.

And most people, unless they've got a life-threatening allergy themselves, don't get it. Some people do not realize:

  • That peanut butter contains peanuts. Okay, they may logically know this, but they'll hand my daughter a Reese's right after I just told them she's allergic to peanuts. They also won't remember that there are peanuts in the trail mix, or think to check whether there's peanut oil in the ingredients of a food. Their brains just aren't used to thinking like that.
  • That even being near peanuts could cause a reaction. Some kids can have a reaction just from the smell of peanuts. Or someone might share with them, or they could grab some when no one is looking. Or eat the crumbs off the floor (please tell me my kids aren't the only ones who try to do this.)
  • What an allergic reaction looks like: hives, swelling, redness, itchiness, tingling, or any combination of the above. Pay attention for these signs and for the love of Tina Turner, if my daughter tells you "my tongue is fuzzy," don't just think "Man, kids are weird" and ignore her. She needs Benadryl.
  • That the Epi-pen is not for every allergic reaction. EpiPens are to keep her alive until 911 gets there if she goes into anaphylaxis. That's it. There are side effects to giving someone epinephrine, and you need to take the kid into the E.R. after every shot of the EpiPen. If my daughter has a non-life threatening allergic reaction, Benadryl is what she should have, not the EpiPen.


Being the parent of a peanut-allergic child means you can't assume that people know these things. Even if they do, they might not understand how important it is. You will want to shake their shoulders and yell, "No really, this is important!!!" but that kind of thing is generally frowned upon.

I've gone on vacation and met with the church nursery leader there about my daughter's food allergy, and not only gotten a feeling like she wasn't really listening but seen a gallon-sized ziploc bag of peanut butter cookies sticking out of her purse on the table.

"Oh, those aren't for the kids, someone gave those to me to take home," she said, but didn't even attempt to close her purse or move it out of reach of my daughter's grubby hands.

Moral of the story: People don't get it.


So You're Babysitting My Daughter... Please Don't Give Her Food That Will Kill Her -- I used to thank my lucky stars that no one in our family had a life-threatening allergy we needed to deal with. Until we did.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

How I Keep From Having a Heart Attack When I Leave My Allergy Kid With Others


When my daughter gets new Sunday School teachers or I'm leaving her with a new babysitter, I tell them about her allergy in advance in an email.

If they're anything like me, they need at least an hour to process new information (and it helps them plan what they're going to feed her, too.)

When I drop her off, I go over it again and offer to read ingredient labels of whatever they're serving. I show them the right dosage of Benadryl and how to use an EpiPen.

And lastly, I don't expect them to remember any of it if they watch her again next week. They're busy just like me, and they can't remember everything about everyone else's kids. I drop the EpiPen off with them every time, not so much because I think my daughter will need it (she never has so far) but because it's a good way to remind them every time without insulting their intelligence.

So what is it like having a peanut-allergic kid?

It kind of sucks, but it's not as terrible as I thought it would be. (And also, Phillip did indeed turn out to be gluten-intolerant and that isn't as horrible as expected, either.) As she gets older she'll get better at managing it herself, and once she hits kindergarten our school has great allergy policies and teacher training on food allergies. For the time being, though, this is what works for us.

What are your kids allergic to and what do you do when you drop them off with someone else?

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Monday, June 13, 2016

Thanks, Pregnancy: 6 Unusual Things I've Cried Over Lately

Nothing makes a grown woman more irrational and weepy than a 15-year-old girl than pregnancy hormones, and Chaun from Hiccups and Pastries knows it all too well. I can really relate to her guest post today in far too many ways... can you?


I'm a little envious of Jenny right now that she gets to be on her maternity leave, because I still have 6 months of pregnancy to go before I can get to that point.

Even so, I'm feeling especially pregnant right now, because all this crying that's been going on lately. (I thought this stage ended when I moved out for college, leaving my three teenage sisters at home.)

Thanks, Pregnancy: 6 Unusual Things I've Cried Over Lately -- Nothing makes a grown woman more irrational and weepy than a 15-year-old girl than pregnancy hormones.  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


With my first baby, I was frustrated with most things that had a face, especially my husband. This time around, I'm just literally crying over stuff like this.

1. Freaking delicious sushi.

You wouldn't expect glorious sushi rolls in Utah, but then again, we are a state of many delectable surprises.

Take funeral potatoes, for example. Like Utah sushi, it doesn't sound like something that's appropriate to go nuts on at a party. Or, uh, a funeral. But Utah natives know how to make any occasion a good celebration of food.

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I would need to celebrate with some salmon and eel sauce sushi. Just the thought of it brings happy tears to my eyes.

2. My OB-GYN doctor.

She told me I could eat basically whatever, just not sushi.

SUSHI.

"What if it's the deep fried kind?" my husband asked the doctor. He could see the beginning crumbles of my internal infrastructure.

"No. Deep fried is not cooked." The OB doc paused, and then said, "I just hate all sushi and think it shouldn't ever be eaten."

Sooo, is sushi actually bad for me, or am I just a victim of her personal rage?

3. This letter from a teacher to her 3rd grade students.

I heard this letter  read over the K-LOVE station a few weeks ago, and I couldn't keep from tearing up and driving away ambiguously into the sunset as I listened along.

"The scores you will get from these tests will tell you something, but they will not tell you everything. These tests do not define you. There are many ways of being smart. YOU are smart! You are enough! You are the light that brightens my day and the reason I am happy to come to work each day. So, in the midst of all of these tests, remember that there is no way to “test” all of the amazing and awesome things that make you, YOU."

Reading back on it again, I think it's super sweet (and accurate!) but I'm not feeling the mushy-gushy tears I felt before. What about you?

4. Burritos.

My sister texted me a picture of her and her boyfriend eating a burrito. She said something like, "We had a great date night!" but all I could see was "We have burritos. You don't. Also, we hate you."

I whimpered and moaned at my misfortune. Burritos! I needed a burrito. All my self-worth was in that burrito.

Taylor, in an effort to make turn that frown upside down, but to avoid a midnight run at Del Taco, brought me a glass of milk and some graham crackers.

I guess my milk did taste a little like a burrito, once my tears were well mixed into it.

5. Speaking of Taylor, his stomach made me cry once.

I didn't understand that this was pregnancy hormones until it was over. It was traumatic. (Or is it dramatic? I never figured out the difference between the two from my teenager years.)

Taylor and I were at a family barbecue, with plans to go to my sister's birthday dinner right after. We made plans not to eat too much at the first event, so we'd have room to enjoy the next party. That was the agreement: do not overeat.

As I watched my husband pack down his plate of chicken, and then chips, and finally a couple of rolls, tears began filling my eyes. I allowed myself to explore all the heartbreaking outcomes of his meal decision. What if we drove all the way to my sister's party and he wasn't able to eat anything? What if he sat around being sad while we binged on cake around him? What if this turned out to be a miserable experience on a big milestone in my sister's life?!

A man who can't enjoy his dinner is enough to make a grown woman cry. A pregnant one, that is.

6. The garbage bins.

I can see you nodding in agreement. Yes, the garbage bins are something to cry over, aren't they?

Well, honestly, this is perhaps the most embarrassing thing that's happened so far. I heard a strange, rumbling sound from outside my house. I didn't dare venture out in the daylight to figure out what it was, though. Pregnancy has made me into a grumpy, frumpy hermit. It's a good thing, since it keeps me from showcasing my everyday PJ attire to my neighbors.

As the rumbling grew closer, it occurred to me that it was Friday morning. Friday morning is important. It's when the garbage man comes.

I needed that garbage man to take out this trash because I had forgotten last week's trash. Judging by the sound of the truck engine, I knew I probably had enough time to run the 5 feet that is my driveway and present my overfilled can to the curb.

But rather than yanking up my big girl panties in courage, I laid on the couch instead. And felt pathetic as I pondered my new life as a hermit living in a home built from milk cartons and Wheat Thin crumbs.

Pregnancy hormones do weird, weird things to us ladies. (Especially revolving around food.)

Now that I've laid out my emotional dirt on the Internet, it's your turn! What's the most unusual thing you've cried over?


About the Author:
Chaun Jacobs is a pastries-eating enthusiast, writer, and usually has her camera bag by her side. You can usually find her over at the Hiccups and Pastries blog. If she's not there, then she's definitely in the pantry, fishing for snacks. Chaun currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her family and imaginary cats. Find her on Facebook here.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

7 Quick Takes about Music Events You Don't See Every Day, The Most Dangerous Way to Dress a Baby, and Brad the Vampire Slayer

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?

1


I get a few daily deal type e-newsletters, which I usually delete unread because they're for things I'm totally not interested in. However, this one really caught my eye because it was titled "Jam Out to Dolly Parton, Gwen Stefani & More."

Hm.

Now those are two pretty diverse styles of music. Are Gwen and Dolly touring together? Performing back-to-back in some bizarrely-themed music festival? What was their target audience here?

I was a little disappointed when I opened the email and saw the tickets were for two separate concerts on two separate dates. Because that could've been interesting.

2


In a brief ceremony in church on Sunday, we had our baby boy blessed (in our religion, kids can be baptized when they're older). Tell me the little outfit he wore isn't the cutest thing you've ever seen. You can't.

7 Quick Takes about Music Events You Don't See Every Day, The Most Dangerous Way to Dress a Baby, and Brad the Vampire Slayer  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Fake 3-piece suit that is actually all one piece and buttons up the back.

Its cuteness is only rivaled by my terror of an explosive diaper blowout while he's wearing it. Because we borrowed the outfit from a friend.

3


Of course by now you've heard about the gorilla/toddler incident from a few weeks ago at the Cincinnati Zoo. It's caused quite the ongoing stir on the Interwebs. Phillip came home talking about it and then asked, "It's on YouTube, do you want to see it?"

No, I do not. Do. Not.

I regularly interrupt movies to ask, "Does a kid get hurt in this?" If the answer is yes, I immediately stuff socks in my ears and leave the room yelling, "Lalalalala!"

That's actually most of the reason I don't keep up with the news. I can't take one more thing keeping me up at night. (I know the boy is fine, I just don't want the visual, thank you very much.)

4


Meanwhile, at the grocery store, I keep running into the strangest things.

7 Quick Takes about Music Events You Don't See Every Day, The Most Dangerous Way to Dress a Baby, and Brad the Vampire Slayer  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
This delicious vegan snack also offers excellent protection against the undead!

I think this is just tricky marketing designed to make me pick up the container to figure out why it's called "Vampire Killer" and then hey, while it's already in my hand I might as well toss it in the cart!

Nice try, Brad. Nice try.

And then someone strategically placed one of these candy bars here specifically waiting for my child to come through the check-out. How did they know??

7 Quick Takes about Music Events You Don't See Every Day, The Most Dangerous Way to Dress a Baby, and Brad the Vampire Slayer  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
Not to call you out or anything, but...

5


My son had a cub scout event where every family brought a cake decorated to symbolize part of the scout law.

Our attribute was "cheerful," so he and my husband whipped up this little beauty:

7 Quick Takes about Music Events You Don't See Every Day, The Most Dangerous Way to Dress a Baby, and Brad the Vampire Slayer  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}
We're totally thinking about opening up a bakery now.

Our cake took home the "most gluten-free" award. We're very proud... that they could think of something nice to say about it at all.

6


In a moment of extreme panic, I realized this week that Phillip changing jobs meant changing health insurance, and our pediatrician might not be in our new network.

I practically went into premature mourning for our pediatrician. I love our pediatrician. She knows and remembers what's going on with each of the kids. If we visit a specialist, she calls me at home that night to ask how it went instead of waiting for their office to fax her the results. She's amazing.

Luckily, she's in our new network so I didn't have to keep breathing into a paper bag. (I kept the paper bag handy, though, because 6 kids.)

7


Lastly, an update on how things are going with the baby, in the form of a text exchange with my husband:

7 Quick Takes about Music Events You Don't See Every Day, The Most Dangerous Way to Dress a Baby, and Brad the Vampire Slayer  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How to Get Specific Answers to Your Prayers (Or, Why Praying for a Gray Cat Isn't Necessarily a Dumb Idea)

I've been thinking about how some people pray for such specific things and receive that very thing in answer. How does that work, exactly?

Are these people fundamentally different than me? Are they just God's favorites, or what?

For example, I've always felt slightly unsettled about the story of Abraham's servant who was supposed to go find a wife for Abraham's son Isaac (Genesis 24.)

He went to the well at a place called Nahor and decided that the first lady who he asked for water, who also offered to water his camels, was The One. And it all worked out, miraculously, that that very thing happened.

Something I've always wondered is: what if the servant had decided on some other equally random method of choosing a wife for Isaac? Would God have honored that plan, too?

It just seemed so odd, to give such very specific terms and conditions to God, and not only have full confidence that your plan is going to work but also to see it actually go through!

Could I do that? Can I just pick any old random thing, and then if I have enough faith God would make it work for me? It makes God sound like a wish-granting genie there to grant your request no matter how far-fetched or arbitrary it is.

I just didn't get it.

How to Get Specific Answers to Your Prayers -- Some people pray for such specific things and get exactly what they prayed for... are they just God's favorites, or what?  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}

Another time, I was in church listening to a returned missionary give a talk. She told some stories from her mission, including a time when she and her partner missionary weren't having much success in finding people who were interested in the gospel message.

So they decided to ask God for more help in finding someone. They decided that the next time they saw a house with a gray cat in the yard, they would go up and knock on the door.

You heard me. A gray cat.

To me, that sounds even more ridiculous than going to the well and seeing who gives water to your camels, but that's what they did.

A few weeks went by, and one day they did see a yard with a gray cat sitting out front. So they went and knocked on the door, prepared to share their message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

The people who lived in that house were a large family who had been praying and hoping for God's direction in their lives, and anxiously awaiting an answer.

Not only that, but they owned seven gray cats.

To be honest, my first response to hearing that story was to be totally incredulous. How could that possibly work?

Was she really suggesting that I could pray for an arbitrary sign like a cat of a certain color, pose it to God, and He'll comply by providing me with that exact random thing?

What she didn't say, though, is how she and her missionary companion arrived at the conclusion to look for a gray cat in the first place.

I'd been assuming that they'd just pulled that idea out of thin air, but upon thinking about it, it's much more likely to me that they'd been inspired to pray for that very thing.

Wouldn't it make sense that God heard the prayers of that family, and knowing that one of their cats would likely be roaming the yard at the exact moment the missionaries passed, gave them the impulse to start looking for it?

Receiving specific answers to prayers, then, is more than a matter of deciding what I want and posting my order to God.

It all boils down to praying for His will and not my own in the first place.

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