Category: Life

Prayer and Work

I have a devotional book that has daily meditations from the letters, writings and sermons of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I’m not at all consistent about it, I just pick it up from time to time, and today was one of those days. Today’s reading is an excerpt from Life Together, a classic book that I read for a leadership class five (yikes) years ago:

“Praying and working are two different things. Prayer should not be hindered by work, but neither should work be hindered by prayer. Just as it was God’s will that human beings should work six days and rest and celebrate before the face of God on the seventh, so it is also God’s will that every day should be marked for the Christian both by prayer and work… The inseparable unity of both will only become clear when work and prayer each receives its own undivided due. Without the burden and labor of the day, prayer is not prayer; and without prayer, work is not work.”

I read this in the middle of the day, with Torre sleeping on my lap. The morning had passed by quickly with diaper changes, nursing, eating something myself and walking the dog around the block (Torre’s first trip in the stroller :)). Laundry was waiting, and dishes, plus the nagging desire to pick up around the house. I’m hoping to give Torre a bath and also have a nap, which is part of my work as a mom because I want to be at my best during the night as well as day. Today is the first day that it has really felt like I’m working, so to read this from Bonhoeffer was affirming, and also convicting: as I give myself over to the work of mothering, I need to also give myself over to prayer. It is too easy for one to become empty without the other.

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1 Week Later

Torre is a week old today, and Matt and I are seven days into parenthood. We ended up having kind of a hellish week, since Matt got food poisoning Monday night, then we both and my dad got the stomach flu. Thankfully Torre stayed healthy, I stayed out of the hospital, and my mom remained healthy enough to take care of us all.Torre 1 wkYesterday we were blessed with an amazing shower by my Auntie Linda and Aunt Laura – we were grateful to be healthy enough to leave the house, and then we were blown away by all of the gifts and love we received! Torre will well dressed for at least the next year and probably even longer, depending how quickly he grows. It was also wonderful to spend time with so many friends and family and for them to meet Torre! He was a champion mellow baby, being passed around and cuddled and loved on with hardly a peep! It was very nice to get him back after opening all the presents though. I worried I would miss being pregnant, feeling kicks and squirms, but holding him on the outside is definitely better 🙂

Today I decided to try the wrap/sling I have for Torre, and it was a great success! It’s not critical right now because with my parents here there are lots of arms to hold him and extra hands to help around the house (I’ve done next to nothing for the whole week, it’s great!). However, I am glad to know that even when it’s just me home with Torre, I can have him close to me and still get some stuff done! It is also nice to finally have regained enough strength that I can support his weight as well as my own.Torre in wrap, Feb 17So that is us. Taking things a day at a time and learning as we go, loving it all so far 🙂

We Have a Son!

DSC07010Torre (rhymes with Story) Clayton Sampson was born at home into my arms at 1:25am on February 10, 2013. He weighed 8 lbs and was 21 inches long. We are absolutely in love with him and savouring all the newness and sweetness of these early days.DSC07047There will be more details and pictures to come – for now of course, we are much too busy cuddling and being charmed by our sweet son 🙂

Prenatal Pampering: Avocado Hair Mask

It was a perfect combination of circumstances that led to me trying a hair mask for the first time last night. It all started when both avocados in my kitchen were overripe and my lunch plans had to be adjusted. I tried cutting all the brown out of one avocado, but it was pointless and I just ended up with a mess that had to be thrown out. On the second avocado I was smarter, and when I saw it was too streaked with brown to eat, I simply set it aside.

[Imagine a picture of a gross avocado here – it was long gone before I thought about blogging this!]

After a tiny bit of research, I found a simple recipe for avocado hair mask – one ripe avocado and 2 tbsp olive oil mashed together. (Another recipe also suggested adding a tbsp of honey, but I didn’t this time.) The internet says a half recipe will do for people with short hair, but I used it all at once, so if you decide to try this yourself I’d say just follow your heart and use however much feels right. Trust your inner voice 😛

Kristen helped me dampen my hair (since I no longer have the core stability to dump a bucket of water over my head while kneeling over the bathtub), and I smeared the concoction into my hair. I didn’t bother to wash it first, and whatever grime was in my hair to start did not adversely affect the hair mask. A huge glob fell off my head onto the bathroom floor mat, so if you are trying this at home and don’t have a dog, you might want to stand on a towel or tile floor, or just be tidier than me. Nimoy was happy to help though, so crisis was averted.Hair maskOnce I had the avocado mixture all worked into my hair, I wrapped it up in a hand towel and played Settlers of Catan online for 20 minutes. Matt kindly interrupted his own video game playing to snap this picture, which makes me laugh because I don’t remember having that glass of water in my hand. The moral of this story is that pregnant ladies need to drink a lot of water all the time. Or tea. I’m working on some raspberry tea right now which is very nice. Anyway, if you are going to try this hair mask, be kind to your body and drink a glass of water while you wait for it to set whether you’re pregnant or not.

I must say, the most time consuming part of this whole exercise was rinsing out the avocado because I was paranoid that I would miss some and have a crusty green glob in the back of my hair. If I ever do this not-pregnant, I will probably stick my head under the tap for more powerful rinsing action, but since I don’t have the agility to do that right now, I just stood under the shower for ages combing hair mask out of my hair, then used a small amount of shampoo to seal the deal. This is not a situation that I trusted to no-poo, that’s for sure.Avocado hairAnd here are the results! After sleeping on my damp, clean hair I woke up with silky soft, wavy hair that didn’t even need brushing. I am very low-key about my beauty routine, but this is something I’d definitely do again down the road, especially if I ever felt that my hair was dry or damaged.

Here’s the condensed version of this whole process for easy reference:
1 (over)ripe avocado
2 tbsp olive oil (unless your hair is dyed, says the internet, then apologize to your wallet and use jojoba or almond oil)
1 tbsp honey (optional!)

Mash it all together, work it into your damp hair and let it sit for 20 minutes. Drink a glass of water. Rinse with gentle shampoo. Love your hair.

My Favourite Telemarketer

The only reason Matt and I have a landline is because our building requires it in order for us to buzz people in. We both have cell phones, and while I sometimes make calls on the landline to save my minutes, it is rare that we receive any incoming calls other than visitors needing into the building or telemarketers.

Tonight the phone rang, and we aren’t expecting anyone over, but you never know, and our landline is in the church directory so occasionally church people call us there instead of our cells. I waddled to the kitchen and picked up the receiver only to hear silence.

“Hello?” Just as I was about to hang up, I heard a connection click and a woman’s voice replied.

“Hello?” she said.


“Hello, this is Terry so-and-so from the something police association (I think), and I am making this recorded call to ask for your support. How are you doing tonight?”

I paused because she was speaking quickly and sounded tough, no-nonsense. I was confused why she was calling, was she calling from the police? No, she’s going to ask for money. “I’m okay,” I answered honestly and tried to figure out if I had anything more creative than “No, sorry,” to say when she made her pitch. Little did I know she had me covered.

“Are your parents home?” Terry asked. I stared blankly at my kitchen wall, then a smile spread slowly across my face.

“No they aren’t.” I am a master of truth-telling.

“Okay, well we will call back at a more convenient time. Have a good night.”

“Okay, bye.” I hung up the phone and died of laughter.

What a good night.