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Here are my favorite pictures of Eli and Sammy. They’re both so adorable!



For those of you who haven’t found our new albums in the gallery, we’ve got a ton of new pictures of Sammy and Charlie making Christmas cookies, Christmas morning at our house, and new pictures I took of our adorable boys.





Unfortunately, Sammy wasn’t in a very cooperative mood (it was almost nap time), so there aren’t actually any good pics of them together, but we did manage to get some good individual ones of both boys.




Seth came over to play the other day and they made a tent out of a sheet and some chairs. I thought the pictures were cute, but I wanted to post them primarily so that I could make this joke: When Sammy and Seth play, its intense!



Does anyone else see the similarity? Or is it just that Churchill looked like a big baby?

Sammy was coloring with markers this afternoon when the phone rang. I was turned around for about a minute and this was what I saw when I looked back:B0F3BD7C-C2CB-4F3E-94E7-305058A75521.jpg



Here are a few recent pictures of the loving, but sometimes moody, brothers:



To everyone I have neglected lately or still haven’t sent “thank you” notes to, this is why:

Elijah is really growing quickly and getting pretty chubby in the face! He’s much more alert than Sammy was at his age, so it’s fun to get to see his eyes looking around at things.
I think Sammy got a little spoiled at Grandma and Grandpa’s last week, so he’s been kind of whiny when he doesn’t have all the attention and is throwing more tantrums. He always wants to be held by whoever is holding Eli and has kind of a love/hate relationship with him. It’s been interesting. But, sometimes he’s also very loving to his little brother so that’s nice to see. Yesterday Elijah was crying and Sammy tried to put Eli’s pacifier in his mouth for him. He couldn’t get it in, but it was a sweet gesture!

Click here for more pictures

Sammy threw up in his bed for the first time last night.

We knew this was coming our way eventually. Like poop in the tub, it seems like it just happens to everyone. We were over at my uncle’s house having dinner earlier this evening when he spontaneously vomited all over himself and his mother during dessert (I love how kids don’t give you any kind of warning that their about to blow, you just suddenly feel warmth and wetness on your neck). Then later on he threw up again before bed, so we were had a suspicion that we hadn’t seen the last of curdled stomach contents. Still, no amount of warning can prepare you for the sensation of feeling around in the dark and finding a child covered in vomit.

In my half-sleeping state I guess I forgot about the earlier pukes, and somehow I didn’t even notice the smell right away because I was stunned when I felt it. My brain was unable to process the data my senses were collecting. Why was everything wet? Did he spill chili in his bed somehow? Had he exploded? When the smell hit me I was suddenly wide awake and I knew exactly what had happened.

About an hour later we were ready for bed again. He had been bathed, his bed had been changed and a huge, stinky load of laundry was in the washing machine. I was holding him and debating with Gretchen about whether it would be better to try and put him back in his own bed or take him in the guest room and let him sleep with me when, wouldn’t you know it, he threw up again! This time I was able to catch some of it in my hand, which seemed like a good idea in the moment. Really it did very little to help and I found myself standing there holding a crying baby with puke all down my arm.

Repeat step 2.

Another hour later and we were downstairs on the couch. At 2am we were watching Finding Nemo, me ready with the trash can trying to catch any little hint that he might be about to blow again. He never did throw up again, but nobody slept either.

Being a parent is absolutely the most difficult and most worthwhile thing I’ve ever attempted. Being a Christian I talked a lot about selflessness before, but it was only after having Sammy that I got a glimpse of what selflessness is really like, and now that Eli is here I’m really starting to get a good look at it. A few years ago a night like last night, especially after a particularly frustrating week at work, would have pushed me over the edge. I would have lost my temper and yelled or walked out. Having these guys around is showing me what patience and love really are. A few weeks ago a friend with no kids told me that he thinks children are a disease. Not only is that an extremely ignorant thing to say, but he couldn’t be more wrong. Selfishness and immaturity are the disease and, in my opinion, children are part of the cure.

I need to apologize, my last two posts here have been negative and whiny. Nobody wants to hear me complain, and that isn’t really an accurate depiction of our life right now anyway.

Having Eli around is great. He doesn’t do anything yet other than eat and cry and poop, but we like him and he’s getting cuter all the time. Gretchen and I are getting the hang of having another little guy around and Sammy likes him too. Whenever he sees Eli he walks over and lays his head against him for a second and nuzzles him like a little dog. It’s very cute. He does cry a little more than Sammy did, and it’s tougher to get him to calm down when he’s worked up, but thats a very minor issue.

My new job is great too. I am still in Pittsburgh and the weather is still nasty, but the job itself is far, far better than what I was doing a few months ago. If you aren’t familiar with hospice, it’s a program for people who have a terminal or life-limiting illness and their families. The idea is that dying is a natural part of life, and hospice helps people navigate the process of death with comfort and dignity. In order to meet all the needs of our patients the hospice team consists of doctors, nurses, chaplains and volunteers. A hospice volunteer might sit with a patient while family members run errands, or help with transportation or babysitting or household chores. Some volunteers make crafts for patients, write letters, knit blankets, etc.

My role with hospice is volunteer coordinator. I’m responsible for recruiting volunteers, training them and getting to know our patients to that I can assign them appropriate volunteers. I also do some backup chaplain duties when our chaplain is swamped, and I do activities with seniors in assisted living facilities. So, I spend a lot of time with people who are about to die and I get to do crafts with sweet little old ladies. It’s a great job really, and It’s much more in line with my theocratic-communistic ideology (just kidding, sort of).

I have some really interesting hospice stories to tell, but I can’t for reasons of confidentiality. I will post some comments on death later though, it’s been very thought provoking being around it so much lately.

As Gretchen mentioned I am in Pittsburgh, and at the moment I’m snowed in at my hotel. It’s been snowing since I got here on Monday evening, but last night it really got heavy and this morning all the roads are covered. I can see the interstate from my room and it’s at a complete standstill. The snow is still coming down hard and it isn’t supposed to let up until tomorrow. So, I pretty much drove 400 miles to a major city to sit alone in a hotel and watch Muppets in Space.

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RSS Verse of the day

  • Philippians 2:13
    For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.