Tuesday, February 15


It's official!  I've finally got a new space with a snazzy personalized design (thanks to my amazing hubby!) and my very own domain name.

Come along with me at www.raesdaze.com

Sunday, February 13

Valentine's Reads

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.

I have great memories of Valentine's Days growing up.  

My dad always bought 3 bouquets; one for my mom, and one for my sister and I.
I always felt so special.
(You'd be hard-pressed to find a father who does a better job of affirming his daughters' value.)

And so, because I think that Valentine's is a bit over-blown when it comes to creating unrealistic romantic expectations that can actually produce more strain on a relationship than benefit it -
And 'cause I think that kids can ALWAYS benefit from hearing that they're loved in a special way -
And 'cause I was realizing just how many children's books we have on love - 
I thought I'd share with you some great books to tuck your kids into with on Valentine's Day.

I Love You Through and Through

A fun little read about all of the parts of a wee person his parents love.  Part of our nightly bedtime routine.


A fun, interactive book about kisses.  
(With a free song download, apparently - I'll have to look into that!)

I Love You, Little One

A heartwarming book about the way that parents express their love for their little ones.

Consider Love: Its Moods and Many Ways

This one is more about romantic love, exploring all of the different attitudes and attributes it can have.  
Very cute, and great illustrations.
(I'm taking it to work with me tomorrow with some goodies to put on the lunchroom table)

...and, no list would be complete without

Guess How Much I Love You

Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare try to find ways to describe how big their love is for one another.  Big Nutbrown Hare always seems to find a way to express his love just a little bit more...

Whatever else you do to celebrate this Valentine's Day,
 if you have kids, make sure they go to bed knowing you 
love them to the moon...

...and back


Friday, February 11

Some Marriage Thoughts

I've been thinking a lot about marriage lately.
It seems to be coming up in conversations with friends, and in blogs I've been reading.  
Funny, when life seems to synthesize things, how the same topic creeps into my consciousness from different and disconnected sources.
Funny, too, how much I've needed it right now.

I am blessed to be part of a pretty fantastic marriage.
There are times when we look at each other, and smile, and say
"I think we're pretty lucky...I don't think it comes this easy for most."

The problem is, those times have been happening less frequently.

In fact, I don't think either of us would say it's coming easy these days.

We said those words...
those words about better or worse, sickness and health, happiness and sorrow.

Does anyone really know what it will mean 
to hold 
through the worse, the sickness, the sorrow when they say those words?

How can we?

James has been sick a lot this winter.
Nothing serious, but a series of colds, ear infections, sniffles, exhaustion.
Nothing to worry about, but enough that he's just not been able to do a lot of the things that he usually does.
(and he usually does a LOT!)

And I've been convicted lately that I haven't done a good job of loving him.

I have loved what he can do for me.
And as that list has become shorter
so has my patience.

In talking with a friend about marriage, and choosing a partner, I was struck as she shared the advice of another, who said that regardless of all the little details and practicalities that could be considered in a partnership, what it really comes down to is:

This is the person that I love.

And because I love this person, and want to spend my life with this person, we'll work through those challenging areas in which our partnership might not be so ideal.
And that's what struck me.

I have not done a good job at loving James.
I have loved his suppers, and his diaper washing, and his parenting.
But when he hasn't felt up to delivering?
I've been downright frustrated and annoyed.

And so, as Valentines Day approaches
(not that I think we should hang our romances on one cold day in February)
I am going to try harder to adore that guy.
I am going to find ways to show and tell him that I love him, 
even if the dishes aren't done and I'm tired and frustrated.

'Cause this is the person that I chose.
 This is the person that I love.


For some more thoughts on marriage, check out
*Ann Voskamp, How to {make} Love 

Thursday, February 10

Love Songs for You

I am SO affected by music.
This morning, as I drove to work, I listened to some BEAUTIFUL music by Seth Primm
The money raised from the sale of his album Bringing Home Beautiful is going towards the adoption of a daughter from Africa.

I was especially moved this morning by the song "Come Home, Beautiful".  
So listen to that one, if no others.

Other songs on my heart today...


I hope you can spend some time basking in his great love for you today.

Tuesday, February 8

Honk if You're Happy

Hi friends.

Thanks to those of you who shared some kind words of encouragement in response to my thoughts on mediocrity.
I appreciate them (even though, as I spend more time reflecting, I value them too much).

See, the thing is...
I know that I am valuable and loved by God.
I just have this difficulty in remembering that it's HIS love that matters the most.
I like to hear it from other people a bit too much.

We're working on it, him and I.

Anyway, enough about that.
I wanted to share with you some happy thoughts that brought tears to my eyes on a day when they've been the wrong kind of teary, the sad kind, over the news of a friend's death.

Friday, February 4


I've spent a lot of my life striving to be better, different, unique, excellent.

Some days I think I peaked in grade 8, when I won the citizenship, academic proficiency, and language arts awards at graduation.

I won a handful of music awards in high school, but, they kinda had to give me something, I was part of so many choirs and ensembles.

Then university, and the awards ceased.  There are a lot of spectacular over-achievers out there.  I had to become content with the As, knowing I'd done my best, but that other's bests were better.

And then I graduated, and got out of that system of constantly being measured, and realized that not much of it mattered.

But I still wanted to be special, and different, and respected, and valued for my unique awesomeness.
(which may or may not really exist)

And let's be honest, that's a big part of what this blogging thing is all about.  
It's all, "look at me in my genuineness and sincerity and see how I'm maybe just a little bit unique and cool."
Not that I try to be things I'm not, that's just it - it's just showing a peak at what really goes on, in my home, in my head, in my heart.  

And when it all comes down to it, sure feels good when people say they pay attention.
Feels even better when they like what they read - me.

And then, life gets the best of me, and I'm way too busy to blog anyway, even though it's one of the things I like most, and one of the things I'd most like to do and define myself by.
I dream about spending time designing a lovely site, and having faithful readers, and taking time to craft lovely words, and maybe even making a bit of money at it.

And it turns out I'm mediocre even at this.
Just like I am at that resolution thing.
And most things.

And the most important things.

I haven't prayed in eons.
I was trying to memorize scripture, but that fell by the wayside with this new busy schedule, around the same time mornings felt hard and that hop out of bed at 6am thing turned into a few extra snooze slaps followed by a mad dash out the door.

I feel like I have nothing to offer anyone - and I probably don't, seeing as I haven't allowed myself to be filled by the bounty that is offered by the only one who can fill me, the only one who's overflow can do anyone else any good.

And so, here I am.
Typing my selfish reflections to a wee audience.
Hoping for a bit of attention, some sort of response.

When really, I should be bringing them into the Light.
To the One who will always give me an audience.
To the One who will shape me and mold me into something beautiful.

For Him.

Not me.

And not you.

Monday, January 17

Feeling Resolute?

I guess you could say my New Year's resolution this year is to add one thing a week to my daily routines to inch me toward what an "ideal" day might look like.  So each week, I add one thing to my morning, and one thing to my evening.

So far, it's been:
Week 1 - established consistent wake up and bed times.
Week 2 - scripture first, floss

This is Week 3.  Week 3's resolution is "wipe up".  When I'm done in the bathroom in the morning, I'll return all my stuff to my drawer, grab a cloth or towel I used that morning, and give the counter a quick once-over.  Same at night.

But the thing that will take WAY more resolve this week?
the sleep training.

It's just not working.  And by it, I mean me.
I can't stick to it.
Mostly because I want to tell the sleep doula lady to take her plan and shove it.

So.  We decided tonight that I need to come up with the plan, and James will implement it,
but I need to be behind it.

The plan basically is no nursing at night, because when he wakes up, that's what he wants, so we need to break the association of
nursing = sleeping.
(I know lots of you have all kinds of opinions on that, but our family needs a solid night's sleep to function with our current commitments, and I'm pretty sure this is the only way we're gonna get it).

Instead of nursing, one of us (James) will pat his back and "shhhh" him, slowly removing the patting and just "shhhh"ing, then moving the "shhh"ing into the hall.

(I've been "shhhhhh"ing for an hour and half.  I'm currently on the floor outside his bedroom door "shhhhh"ing.  and I'm still in my work clothes.
and my house is a mess.
and the babysitter's coming here tomorrow.
and there are currently no lunches made for tomorrow.
and the diapers need to be washed.)

So, the resolution of the week is "wipe up."

But the real resolve is required to get through this week's sleep plan.
And release my grip on all that stuff that I can't change right now.
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