Yesterday, the weather was so lovely that Matt played hooky in the afternoon and went to the zoo with me and my friend, Shera. She had her two babies, plus a boy who she watches, and Matt and I brought the baby I watch, and we chased them around the zoo, while occasionally getting them interested enough to stop and look at the animals.
I like all the animals that remind me of cats, but it seemed like it was generally nap time around the zoo and most of the adorable animals like to nap far far away from the noisy humans.
There's a breastfeeding monkey in this post, and I think it's pretty amazing the way animals don't have to be taught how to take care of their babies. Our Creator is amazing.
Also featured in a picture is a babe who sticks treasures (mulch and maple helicopters mostly) down her pants when she doesn't have any pockets. Some battles are worth fighting, and some we let slide.
p.s. I took over 27,000 steps this day, which is my new daily record!
Strawberries, cucumbers, radishes, green beans, green peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, blueberries, figs, and apples are all in the ground! Just like I knew he would, Matt prayed for our garden as I covered the seeds in their tiny finger-size holes. He prayed that God would bless our efforts and cause our garden to yield fruit, but as we joked together after, if the garden gives us absolutely nothing this year, we're less than $12 in the hole for it (that doesn't include the fig and apple trees), so nothing lost.
Watching the veggies we've never grown climb to the sun will be exciting, but it's the fresh tomatoes that I most look forward to. I've been making a summer salad a lot lately as a side with lunch or dinner, and it uses two tomatoes every time, so plucking them off the vine before the cutting board will be a money saving treat.
Bean Summer Salad
- 1 can of red kidney beans
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 1 can of black olives
- 2 tomatoes
- 3 artichoke hearts
- Sea salt to taste
It wasn't a difficult recipe to dream up, but it's the perfect cold, fresh salad on a warm day. Do you have a go to cold meal on hot days? Those are the trickiest meals to come up with, I think.
Today we'll be pushing little seeds into dark soil, feeding them with water, and then praying to the God who created every radish, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, fig, apple, blueberry, pepper, and green bean that ever there was. We're starting the tomatoes from plants again this year, because that worked in our backyard last summer, and there's no reason to fix what hasn't broken. I had a coupon for a free bell pepper plant, so that's starting from a plant as well, but the cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, and green beans we'll grow from seeds.
Have you ever composted? We've been composting for over a year now: eggs, veggies, fruit, and grass, but boy was I in for a smelly surprise when Matt tilled some of it into our garden. It smells about like you would expect year old egg shells and apple cores should.
Recently we've been on a plant kick. I have five new succulents, two potted flowers, one container of sedum, and the largest planter I've ever owned, most of which were gifted to us. I think flower swapping should be more of a thing.
Four of our peonies are little bushes now, and my next outdoor update will have so much color you'll be blinded. Tell me what you're planting this spring. I love peeking into other people's gardens.
Yesterday was the day that our son, Christian, was due to be born. We've known, since the day that he died, that some days would be harder than others. Some days would feel normal, after all, we never did have a child to hold, and some days there would be a hole that only comfort from God's Word could help.
Yesterday was one of those harder days. We need him to be acknowledged by those who love us, because we love him, and he died. So, even though it would be easier to see no picture of him and hear no kind words from others, it's absolutely necessary to be reminded that people love us and him. Yesterday, we dropped the baby I watch at my mom's house for the day, and, after visiting both sets of grandparents with flowers, we went to the graveside for the first time. There we sat together on a stone bench and cried, because we miss the life our son should have lived.
After that we got out of town, over to Smithfield to wander up and down brick sidewalks and in and out of vintage or second hand stores. We held hands all day, and there's nothing more beautiful on earth than a day spent with the man I love. We ate ice cream and split pea soup, chocolate covered peanut butter and crab meat burgers. We bought a recipe box, honey sticks, and took little breaks to cry when someone texted us or facebooked us something sweet. Mostly it was a day to just be together, walking through stores we'd never stepped inside, and singing loudly in the car.
On Wednesday, I'd been reminded of a truth in my Bible reading, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12
Our heart is sick by hope deferred, but God knows the desire of our hearts, and if we can find our delight in Him, He has promised us that tree of life. (Psalm 37:4)
I'll end with the words on his gravestone: Carried with hope. Born in silence. Remembered with love, always.
I'm thankful for the love that this man shows me. Yesterday, between classes, he added a gate between our front and back yard. He spends much of his free time happily helping other people or studying for school because he's doing everything he can to take care of me. He's the best mixture of strength and humility that I've seen in a man.
We used to be just kids. The first picture taken of us together (not counting the soccer one when we were literally children) was at a bowling alley with friends. In the second picture, Matt's visiting me my freshman year of college and giving me his childhood teddy bear, Christopher Robin Hood. The next picture we're married, still little kids, on a school bus headed to a college field trip. After that, we're on our first couch, in our first apartment, wearing our pj's. Then I'm on his lap on our front porch in Knoxville, ready to graduate. Next, on his lap again, we've moved home to Virginia, and we're praying like crazy that God will fill our home with babies. The second to last picture has our son in it, and I'm incredibly thankful Hannah took it! That picture was taken the day after we found out he was a boy. The last picture was taken this weekend. We aren't children anymore, not really. I gave birth to a dead baby, and Matt has loved me harder than I could ever earn.
Life is hard, but marriage is easy, and God is good.
Have you ever been to Poquoson, Virginia? It's this perfect little town. Boring, sure, but quiet and beautiful. That's where my grandparents live, and on holidays we slip off together as a family to sit in the sunroom and eat yummy food. This particular holiday was Easter, the day we celebrate the truth that Jesus didn't stay dead.
I'm thankful for tons of things: Matthew, my family, our home, our church, and other things too, but mostly I'm thankful that we have a Savior who was not only willing to die for us, but had the power to rise from the dead. Without that power, He'd be just like any other man. I hope you got to see your family yesterday, but more than that, I hope you could celebrate Jesus' resurrection with joy!