Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." -1 Timothy 1:15-17

Merry Christmas, everyone! 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Days With Dylan" Newsletter Article

This is a newsletter article I recently submitted for MOPS:

A Challenging Journey
Our journey to expanding our family with another child has been a longer and more challenging one than I had expected. After another recent round of failed fertility treatments, I sat in my car, talking to my sister. I talked honestly about the disappointment I was feeling, but that God was leading me to shift my focus a bit. “I guess I just need to take my focus off of achieving another pregnancy, and just focus on my days with Dylan.”

I mentally stopped myself in my tracks. “Days With Dylan” is the blog I created almost 3 years ago when our son was born. I happily updated it regularly, keeping family and friends in touch with the daily goings-on in our life. But honestly, as these past months have gotten harder, I have been adding fewer and fewer posts. I realized how consumed and distracted I’d been, with the “goal” of pregnancy, not to mention some other big factors going on in our life – like trying to buy a home. I felt myself withdrawing, as my wishes continued to go unmet.

Stop Waiting!
While talking about these topics recently, my husband Marc recalled a sermon he heard preached by John Ortberg at Willow Creek, on “waiting.” He remembers Ortberg shouting, “Stop waiting! Single ladies, stop waiting for a husband. Married couples, stop waiting for a child. If you’re jobless, stop waiting for a job!” His voice got louder and louder as he admonished that we are to live our lives right now. Stop waiting, and start living.

Surely this is to be understood in the right context, for the Bible actually has an awful lot to say on the topic of “waiting,” and makes it very clear that God can accomplish a lot during such seasons.  But I think that what Ortberg meant was to stop “holding out until   ­­___________ happens.” Instead, start living right now, with what you’ve been given.

Advent – Awaiting The Birth of Christ
It’s kind of like Christmas. Right now, it is Advent – the time of awaiting the birth of Christ, as celebrated on Christmas Day. Now, Christmas Day rocks, doesn’t it? I just love it, for everything it represents spiritually, and, honestly, for all those awesome presents you get to open and to give. And there’s usually a scrumptious meal involved, some yummer Christmas cookies, and being with your loved ones.

But the days leading up to the 25th are so great too! I am one of “those people” who just LOVES Christmas music, Christmas shopping, Christmas parties, you name it. I love meditating on the mind-boggling truth of what God did in sending His son Jesus in the form of a babe in a manger.

Just as Christmas Day is absolutely wonderful, and yet the days leading up to it are “fruitful” too, I realized the same can – and should – be true in my life. While I continue to hope for the blessing of another child, I am refusing to put life “on hold” in the meantime. He has given me an amazing, humble husband who loves me so well. He has gifted me with a precious, precious son who is truly the apple of my eye, and a joy to my heart.  And most significantly, He has given me everything in Christ! Colossians 2:9-10 says, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.” I need to remember this and live this truth! Christ lives within me, and fills my heart and my days.

With Thanksgiving, Present Your Requests…
Philippians 4:6 finally makes sense to me. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” it says. I used to be confused by how we’re commanded to present the burdens of our hearts to God, while giving thanks. That seemed like an oxymoron to me. I now understand it – pray your heart, pray your desires, pray your hopes and your dreams, according to His will. And yet….be thankful for what you already have. We have been given everything in Christ. Everything else is the icing on the cake.

This isn’t to say I’ve suddenly mastered contentment 24/7. But God has generated a more thankful heart for, and a more attentive mind to – my Days With Dylan.

About This Blog

It has been impressed upon my heart lately that we are to be stewards of our time. God has so much to say about the concept of "time" in the Bible, and that it is something that He entrusts to us. Do I use my time well? In some cases, yes. In some cases, no. 

I've been thinking about this blog - is it a wise use of time? Honestly, I am prayerful about that question. I do believe that God highly esteems our roles in the family, and our relationships in life. For that reason, I love keeping the blog updated - to keep loved ones connected. I also have a creative side to me that, since leaving the workplace, has gotten surpressed. This blog allows me to have a creative outlet - a hobby.

But I do believe that God is calling me to do something more/different, if I continue on with "Days With Dylan." He impresses upon my heart soooo many things I'd like to share about my journey as a Christian, a wife, a mom, a friend, a Chicagoan. And so, as time allows, you will hopefully begin to see a bit of a change in this blog's contents. I will still update it with our daily goings-on, but I plan to also throw in there a few more of my writings. The first of which, will follow this blog post.

I hope to simply make it worth your time, if you so choose to follow "Days With Dylan."

Blessings to you this Christmas season!

Monday, December 6, 2010


We went to Lincoln Square's Christkindl Market on Sunday.

Gingerbread Man

Dylan and I made a gingerbread man last weekend. D's participation mostly involved eating the left arm, but I will still allow his name in the "credits."

Thanksgiving Weekend Festivities

We were happy to welcome Marc's brother Marty for a spontaneous visit to Chicago for Thanksgiving weekend. And Marc and I celebrated 7 years of marriage on Nov. 29!

Dylan is just "one of the boys." I actually crack up at this picture, because for some reason Dylan wanted to bring his toy CD player along for the outing. It's like he's one of those dudes who walks down the street with his boombox blaring.

 Marty and Dylan having a man-to-toddler chat.

We went to one of our very favorite places for our anniversary dinner - the Chicago Chophouse. (Then to McDonalds across the street for ice cream for dessert.)


We celebrated Thanksgiving at Marc's parents' house this year. It is always a fabulous event and scrumptious feast!

Not Shy In Front Of The Camera

D now understands the connection between taking a picture on our digital camera, and immediately seeing the picture on its screen. So we had a photo shoot one day.....

 First picture.

Then I asked him to smile. (I didn't know it was possible to have a fake smile at age 2, but apparently it is.)

Then I told him to open his mouth, but he got a little anxious and started walking to see the picture as he was "posing."

 Then I asked him to touch his nose. (Close.)

 And show his belly button.

Little Mozart

Dylan's piano lessons have officially begun! Papa (a piano teacher, along with Nana) put different colored stickers on the keys, and told Dylan which ones to touch, in order to play " Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." They've tried this a few times, but this was the first time he made it all the way through. And yes, it IS Dylan playing!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Package From Grandma

One of the items that was in it - a funny, cute, dancing Christmas tree that sings "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree."

Cheap (Cool) Date Night

Marc and I wanted to go on what we call "cheap date night," where the goal is mainly to get out, not necessarily enjoy "fine dining." We discovered a pizza-by-the-slice place in Wrigleyville that we loved, and in the meantime got in on the Wrigleyville Classic scene. It was a rare event where two college teams - Northwestern and U. of IL - got to play in Wrigley Field.  Those happened to be the two schools Marc and his brother Marty graduated from, so they had a 6-pack bet on the game. :) It was the ESPN Gameday headquarters, so there was a lot of media set up all around, to cover the game the next day. Fun to be around it all.

Elmo Surgeons

Giving Elmo new life, with some batteries.

Elevator King

....or so he thinks. Dylan continues to look forward to our trips to Target and Whole Foods, where he knows he'll get to ride the elevator for at least the first 10 minutes before starting to shop.

City Park

We recently discovered a park near my doctor's office, close to downtown. Dylan loved exploring the new territory, and Marc and I loved the view.

When's The Last Time You Laughed Like This?

[Music Playing:] "I'm A Big Kid Now"

Dylan can reach the rings at Adams Park now, and just has to lift his feet to "hang" all by himself!

Moms Group

These are the women that so greatly bless my life on Wednesday mornings - my Park Community Church Moms Group.

Potty Training Trials

After many months of occasionally trying out Elmo Potty, we decided it was time to really kick things in gear, and devoted the first weekend of November to "Potty Training Boot Camp." 72 hours, 30 Honey Bunnies, 14 videos, and 18 potty "attempts" later, we threw in the towel....for now. The kid can hold it in! We didn't even really have a chance to show him the ropes when an "opportunity" came, because there were hardly any "oportunities"! Check back in 2011 for an update on the Potty Training Diaries.

Such A "Mom"

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I feel like such a "mom" when we use this shopping cart. :) And I'm not complainin'.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Halloween Can Be A Little Scary

Our Halloween turned out a little differently than we expected. We excitedly welcomed Papa to join us (Nana was out of town) in our favorite trick-or-treating neighborhood - Lakewood-Balmoral, near Andersonville. We headed out, and 3 houses into it, Dylan threw a tantrum that landed the back of his head onto the cement sidewalk, causing a gash in the back of his head that didn't stop bleeding. We took him to the ER, and he got 3 staples in his head. :(  The little trooper that he was, he asked to go out trick-or-treating when we left the Emergency Room. 

This is at the very same time - the cutest and saddest image of Dylan I've ever seen. He actually really enjoyed the ER, and ran around checking out everything in the room.

(Note to Chicagoans: if you ever need to go to the ER - St. Joseph's on Diversey and Lakeshore Drive is always fast and efficient! We've gone there 2 other times, and have never had to wait.)

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Letter "E"

Dylan really likes - and often points out - the letter "E" these days.

Lincoln Square Business Trick-or-Treating

We went trick-or-treating in the Lincoln Square Business District, the day before Halloween.

On our way to the Square.

 "Just let me reach down and get that rock..."

 Here, Dylan is showing his "reflective Halloween pose."

 Dylan bumped into a "brother" from his litter!


Really, Dylan didn't have much interest in the whole idea. The main thing that peaked his interest was that at the end of the strip was the toy store, and he'd get to go play with the choo-choos. Mission accomplished.

Halloween Playdate

Dylan's first opportunity to dress up in his doggie costume was for a Halloween playdate in mid-October. He was the cutest little puppy this mommy's eyes had ever seen.

On our way to the house.

Gotta include a shot of the back of the costume!

  Some of the attendees.

After snacks, and when everyone had gone to the other room to play, I realized mid-conversation with a mom, that Dylan had disappeared. I came into the kitchen to see that Mickey Mouse and the Puppy had gone back for seconds.

 Somehow these two knew they belonged together.

Illini Weekend

Our family took a trip to Champaign, IL to see some friends, and to visit Marc's alma mater, University of Illinois. (I had never been there.) Here are a few shots from our campus visit: