7 Quick Takes (Oops!) Saturday

So this should be 7 Quick Takes Friday, but today's Saturday. Oops.
  1. I. Love. Project. Runway. Years ago, I happened to catch a one-week-long marathon of Project Runway season 3. And this current season (season 8, on Lifetime) is the second I've been able to catch. The creation of garments and originality of each assignment just fascinates me-- the talent, innovation, pressure, and of course the reality-TV vibe. But reality TV for the sake of reality TV drives me bananas. Project Runway on the other hand actually promotes a craft, constitutes an actual competition (as opposed to, say, participating in Machiavellian mind games while starving on an island somewhere in skimpy clothes) and informs viewers about fashion and design. No one who knows me in real life would ever peg me as a fashion-forward person, and I'm not. But I really enjoy-- scratch that, LOVE-- watching Project Runway.

  2. Yesterday I had the opportunity to have a friend come for the whole day. She's moving away in 2 days (I'm learning that such is the fabric of overseas life-- seemingly constant change in companionship), but it was so precious and valuable to be able to share our hearts and process life together. We nursed our newborn babies, watched our older kids play together, and enjoyed the day visiting. I mentioned before about missing real life friends, so I want to acknowledge that God has not left me stranded... it just looks different (much less constant) than it did in the US. But He has blessed me with friendships and opportunities for transparency and encouragement when I need it.

  3. I'm going to have a root canal next week, my second in a couple years. I've heard before that teeth and childbearing are related... anyone else know about this? Anyway, I'm taking more vitamins now, trying to be more diligent about the care of my teeth. Last week we watched an episode of West Wing and Sam Seaborn (played by Rob Lowe) said: "Your teeth are the best friends you've got, CJ. You take care of them, they'll take care of you. I'm wild about dental hygiene." And it made me laugh. But something about it made me realize, gosh, I'm only 30 and on my 2nd root canal; I need to work harder to take care of these teeth of mine.

  4. Do any of you other moms of little ones have mental "careers" stored up for potential consideration/pursuit post-child-raising? I do, and the interesting thing is none of them are linked to what I got my degree in and used to do for a living (pre-children), which was politics. Here are mine: editor at a publishing house, midwifery, marriage & family counseling, not necessarily in that order. I think the last one may be my favorite option at this particular moment. Oh, and Project Runway contestant. :) What are yours?

  5. While watching Project Runway, I saw a trailer for a movie ("Easy A") about a girl who agrees to pretend to lose her virginity to a gay guy, I guess so he won't have to come out of the closet or something? It looks targeted towards high school students, and after checking out an internet source, I confirmed it is loosely based on Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter". Is this really what America is becoming? Is this really what we want to communicate to our youth?

    Are there really people among us that believe that serving up tripe like this will in any way make Americans more honorable, courageous, inventive, or strengthened in character and resolve? Christian or no, these are the character qualities that have made America strong, and I fear these are the very things slipping away rapidly from the fabric of our populace. Cultural happenings like this make me ask, will I recognize my country when we return in roughly a year's time?

  6. We're coming up on our 10th anniversary in about a month's time. :) Because we're going back to the US next summer, we're gonna hold off on a big celebration until then (we're thinking maybe a cruise or special trip, just the two of us, at that time). Anyway, I just wonder-- do any of you have some ideas about ways to celebrate without leaving the house? We'll probably be able to go to dinner together, but do you have any great ideas about ways we could commemorate this anniversary in a special way without leaving/going somewhere? I welcome your thoughts.

  7. And last but definitely not least, our oldest son is going to be baptized tomorrow; it's a big moment that has snuck up on us and I've not really had time to reflect on it as I'd like. I'm really thankful that God has been gracious not only to me but to our children. Just like I didn't have perfect parents, my kids don't either. And yet, despite my inconsistencies and foibles and sin, our son wants to follow Jesus. It's quite humbling to take on this job of being a parent, being entrusted with these little souls. I just keep praying and trusting that God will do incredible things in his heart and life... tomorrow is one huge piece of evidence to me that God is at work today just as He has always been.


Candice said...

Thanks for sharing some of what's been going on! That's so exciting about your son's baptism! God is so good and gracious to us!

Concerning #1: I have found myself hooked on "America's Next Top Model", which is so completely out of character for me. But, it is quite interesting. Lots more to being a model than you'd think...

Concerning #3: I have had so many dental expenses this year that I have cried over it. I, too, am realizing at 33 that I need to take better care of my teeth...I do wonder if child-bearing has something to do with it?

And, Happy Anniversary!!

Krystal said...


I was interested to see you've been contemplating careers after your nest empties; I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I've been trying to work from home part-time, but homeschooling takes up so much time it just seems more viable to be content where I am and put work on the back burner until the kids are older.

I went to school for radio, but I think these days I'd choose photographer, novelist or sonographer. I've heard that to start a business you need to work at it full time. These days, I just don't have 40 spare hours a week. Perhaps when the youngest ones are all old enough to work more independantly. In the meantime, my work is my home...

Jess said...

:) I should clarify- It's not a constant thought for me, just something that crosses my mind from time to time. At present, I'm considering taking some cake decorating and sewing classes next year during our visit in the States-- those will much better serve our needs over the next few years. :)

As you said, even though I think of these things occasionally, "in the meantime my work is my home"

Catherine R. said...

Glad to hear about your oldest - that's really special!

#4 Yes, I think interior design is at the top of my personal list. I went to school for design. For all my regrets about college, I studied what I happen to be good at and enjoy. I think interior design combines my love of art and form with my feelings about the home being the touchstone for our lives in many important ways.

I think you have a knack for counseling type work and you're a gifted communicator, so writing too. You also have very good text formatting BTW, no walls of type, good hierarchy... something we studied a lot in graphic design classes.

5. When will Hollyweird finally learn that movies with family values (as passe as that is) have always had greater success with audiences than the latest tale of deviency that someone comes up with?

6. No ideas here - I'm lame : ) But good for you, girlfriend! No doubt you got married "too young" in the eyes of most experts in our world and here you are on the happy occasion of a decade at the age of 30 - that's great.

Anonymous said...

I think you are right about #3 - pregnant women are given free dental care in the UK (dental care is not normally free) whilst pregnant and for a year after birth. I think its because pregancy hormones soften the gums which can lead to all sorts of other problems.

Catherine said...

Jess, I love your blog design! I usually read in a reader, so I haven't seen it since you changed it. I am a trained MD, so if my migraines ever calm down, I hope to be able to go back to practicing medicine. It's a stressful but rewarding career. But, I sometimes dream about opening a yarn shop. Either way, I need to not have disabling headaches several times a week.

If you are at all inclined toward medical stuff, midwifery could be a really great thing to do. I LOVED delivering babies when I was working. You have to be willing to work some icky hours, but it's wonderful. I also worked with a "Certified Professional Midwife" on occasion (i.e. when her clients needed hospital care) and she had a great practice. There are large parts of the world where effective midwifery care could make a huge difference in mothers' and babies' lives.

I enjoy reality cooking shows, like Top Chef. I've never really enjoyed fashion and actually kind of looked down my nose at people who do enjoy fashion. However, I've learned (aka God hit me over the head) that fashion is as valid an artistic field as any other, like music. I still don't watch Project Runway except when my mom visits, but I can definitely appreciate the concept more!

Wow. This was some kind of long comment. Oh well, hope you have a great week! And, since I haven't commented on your blog in forever, congratulations on the new baby!


Amy said...

some simple ideas for your anniversary could be a scavenger hunt maybe around your neighborhood if time is short leading to a picnic. Or a progressive dinner at a few different restaurants.. appetizer at one place, dinner at another, dessert at another...
just some thoughts on keeping it cheap :)

Awesome news about your son, Praise the Lord! as the mom of two under the age of two, I pray God will call them out of darkness and I can be where you are in a few years.

Louise said...

Hi Jess, I haven't posted on your blog much before but have been following for a while. Congratulations on your sweet new baby! I have taken a special interest in your posts since your baby was born as my 6th baby was born on June 18th so we aren't too far ahead of you.
We had breastfeeding problems which I'd not experienced with any of my other babies so I felt completely thrown. I usually get back into the swing of things pretty quickly but this time I wasn't able to.
I've found your posts about routines/Babywise very interesting. I have followed a babywise routine with some of my babies and others have had all routine thrown out the window except I don't let my babies sleep longer than 3 hours during the day (no longer than 4 hours between feeds) in order to "tank them up" during the day. This time however it was very difficult to wake my baby during the day and so I found very early on that she would easily go 4 hours between feeds and she never woke more than 4 hourly at night - more like 6 hourly at night!! I was so worried thinking that she was not getting enough milk and so was too sleepy but my midwives reassured me that she was putting on a lot of weight and just to enjoy her! She is 2 1/2 months old now and sleeping through the night so well (except these last few days which have been very unsettling for us all due to a big earthquake here on Saturday). Anyway, I just thought it very interesting and thought I would share.

Congratulations on your upcoming 10th anniversary. We find it hard to get out to do something special with so many little ones so we often just hire a movie and make a special dinner and dessert for ourselves, or if we can we go out for dinner.

And yes I do think about a career in the future and midwifery is my choice at the moment so we will see.

Teeth - I am also 30 and have noticed I've needed work on my teeth after each baby (or if I haven't gone to the dentist between babies I've needed work on the number of teeth equalling the number of babies I've had). Never a root canal though! Yikes!

Take care,
Louise in Christchurch New Zealand

Terry @ Breathing Grace said...

If you can leave the house for yout 10th anniversary, do!! That's a big deal.

Mental careers? Something to do with writing always comes to mind. Novelist, editor, etc.

As for that movie trailer, it sounds disturbing on so many levels. It's amazing what passes for entertainment these days, :(

Hope your root canal goes as well as possible.

Take care Jess!

Happy At Home said...

Yes, childbearing (and nursing, for that matter) have a GREAT deal to do with teeth. When you are pregnant, that little baby is pulling every extra ounce of calcium from your body to build those little bones. Likewise, when you are nursing your body is gathering every extra bit of calcium, essential to healthy teeth and bones, for your little one. Ask your doctor, but a calcium supplement while nursing might be an option you'd want to consider. I take one WITH my prenatal, as I am still nursing.

Sandra - SHBC said...

Wonderful news about Ethan. :-)

Lecia said...

I have been reading your blog for some time now and for some reason have never commented.

I just have to let you know how much I appreciate your willingness to step out there and discuss some "touchy" subjects. What a wonderful ministry you have that I am sure has helped many women in their marriage. I know some of your posts have made me think!

Denise said...

About the anniversary... maybe list 10 things that you love most about your husband and display them to him in a way that he would appreciate. One year I did something like this for his 30th birthday and we hung them all over the house at his eye level- he is super tall. It was super fun and he got a kick out of it. I had funny and serious ones to make it interesting.

Ruth said...

Congratulations on your tenth anniversary. We celebrated our tenth last year, and I ended up taking DD3 to the pediatrician with a fever. We just brought home italian food from a favorite restaurant and watched a good movie.
The next weekend we went to a Family Life Weekend to Remember in South Padre Island. It was wonderful!!! The weekend to remember is such a strengthening encouragement in God's plan for marriage. We were challenged ad encouraged and would love to go again one day. The conferences are held all over the states. It might be something to think about while you are back in the U.S. fltoday.org has more info. Have a wonderful time however you celebrate. Congratulations!!!

Ashley said...

Hi Jess! Friends of mine celebrated their 10th anniversary by buying one of those picture frames where you write on the mat(many people use them as a wedding "guest book" now). They spent the evening writing funny and special memories from the last 10 years together on the frame mat! I'm not sure if they put a wedding pic in it or a recent one, but I think it would be cute to get a frame that has two picture openings: one for a wedding pic and one for a 10 year pic! Have fun!

Jess said...

I've watched a season of ANTM too... it's interesting, isn't it, thinking of how much work goes into getting one perfect "shot" or "look".

Thanks for your comment!

Interesting choice-- sonographer sounds super fun! I suppose when defects are found, though, it wouldn't be all fun. But what a special time to share with a couple!

Catherine R.,
I'd forgotten that you studied interior design. That sounds like a great option!

And I'll actually be 31 when we have our anniversary- we got married the day after my 21st birthday. :)

Thanks-- I'm enjoying this new blog design too!

As for midwifery, I'm really not inclined toward medical stuff, but I guess I just figure I've learned so much about labor, babies, nursing, etc... and I enjoy being around it, but I think it's more a pipe dream than something I'll actually end up doing, LOL.

Amy, Denise, Ruth, and Ashley,
Thanks for the date ideas!

Interesting about the routines & the work needed on your teeth. Motherhood truly does bring sanctification in all kinds of ways, huh?

We probably will leave the house in some form/fashion; we just don't have regular babysitters here, so that limits how long/how often we go out.

And the root canal got moved to next week because of this being the end of Ramadan.

Happy at Home (and others),
Thanks for confirming those thoughts about teeth-- I'd read them before but wasn't sure how much of a connection there is.

Thanks for your encouraging comment!

Thanks! Can you believe he's already this old? I'll post a picture of his baptism in my post tomorrow.

Thanks, everyone, for the comments-- it's fun to hear from you!