The power of a meal, shared with friends

rachael-escandon-jennifer-fulwiler

At the beginning of this year, my friend Rachael┬áhad the simple but brilliant idea to start having regular dinner parties. She called it the Dinner Club for Underachievers, and she set the rules to be simple enough that even families in crazy seasons of life could participate. The rules are: Couples take turn hosting the dinner club The hosts do not have to provide any food — they just provide drinks and paper plates and utensils Each guest brings a dish (appetizer, main course, or dessert) The guests don’t bring kids (but the host’s... Read More

How we built our village

Yaya puts a shoe on one kid while…actually, I have no idea what’s going on in this picture. I often hear comments from people who know us in person about what a great support network we have. It is pretty crazy: Yaya, Joe’s mom, lives 10 blocks away. My mom lives two miles away, within the same network of neighborhoods. My grandfather lives 15 minutes north of us, and my dad recently moved there to be closer to us and to help him out. We know quite a few great babysitters, and can usually find one who’s available when I... Read More

A meditation on the shocking idea that maybe we’re actually not just lazy whiners

When Joe first saw me in the hospital, he said I reminded him of this scene from Office Space:. I had tubes in my nose, a 16-gauge IV in my hand that was causing me constant pain, had just received a daunting diagnosis that left me with a ton of questions about both my immediate and long-term circumstances, and yet I seemed…happy. Undoubtedly, a large part of that can be attributed to being lifted up by so many wonderful prayers. But there was something else, too, that was responsible for my surprisingly peaceful state of mind: Relief. December... Read More

On grief and neighbors

Two weeks ago, I was scheming about moving. I was tired of trying to fit seven people into three bedrooms, tired of the fact that issues with our back yard mean that the kids won’t play out there for long periods of time, tired of scorpions stinging my children in the face. Also, a few weeks ago my seven-year-old son and a boy his age who lives nearby had been involved in what they thought were humorous pranks on our neighbors, but turned out to cause serious property damage. After the humiliating experience of having to knock on doors, introduce... Read More

Mommyblogging and the water well

As I mentioned back in February, closing comments for Lent gave me a lot of insight into the role that the internet plays in my life. I didn’t want to get into too many details in that post since I knew it would lend itself to discussion, so here is the promised Part II. Back in college I spent a couple of semesters as an anthropology major. I found the study of different peoples and cultures fascinating, and drank up all the material in the courses. One thing that always jumped out to me was that in almost every group of people we studied... Read More