Friday, June 27, 2008

a four-footed nap

My monoamniotic twin girls, Anna and Lucy, are the one in 50,000 or so children that had skin-to-skin contact in the womb. It shows in the way they nap.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Thursday, June 26, 2008

what I'm doing

There are several parts in our condo that look like this:

I'm getting a box or two put away every day. It should speed up next week, when we're done with the old house.

But here is one of my favorite parts of our new place, which is pretty put together, the kids' under-the-stairs little play area:

Isn't that cool? When I was a child, my family once stayed at a beach house that had an under-the-stairs little room and my siblings and I loved it. I'm so excited that my kids have this little hidey-hole in our new home.

It reminds me a little of the Office in The Saturdays, the first of the Melendy books.

Did you have a hideaway sort of place when you were a kid?

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It's a good thing I'm a Christian or I couldn't write this post

Why? Because if I weren't a Christian I would be afraid of jinxing myself.

Happily, I don't believe in jinxes and, guess what? The twins are beginning to have a NAP SCHEDULE. Oh my goodness. For two days in a row, they have gone down for a solid morning nap and a solid afternoon nap.

Be still my beating heart.

Of course, even though I don't believe in jinxes, I still might be announcing the arrival of NAP TIME a bit early. Two days isn't that long, after all.

But still. NAP TIME. How lovely.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

summer joys

The cafeteria at my husband's place of employment (which happens to be a university) offers $5 lunches during the summer. This is also the time when the campus is largely empty, and seems like our own private retreat of good landscaping and splashable fountains. So the kids and I go and meet him for lunch, and enjoy the weather and the food and the (relative) silence.

"Cafeteria" might not conjure up the most appealing images, but this is a good cafeteria, with a policy of using locally grown food and run by a pretty good catering company. For instance, my first course today was a salad with greens, candied almonds, cherry tomatoes, blue cheese, dried cranberries and raspberry vinegrette. Mmmm.

Going there is one of the luxuries of summer. So is seeing white roses, fruit-loop-colored verbena and many of the various tuber-flowers in full bloom.

I've even come to a new appreciation of those annoying fireworks flowers, upon discovering that even though they're generic and ugly from far away, up close the individual lavendar flowerets are elongated, lovely little blossoms.

Add to that the cool, insulated space of our new home (we've moved! we've moved! we're . . . sort of unpacked!), and I'm finding this to be a very pleasant season of the year. Thanks be to God!

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

where I've been

We're moving! That's where I've been. I've been packing, nursing and parenting. I hope to start blogging again regularly once we're settled in. This move is a very, very, very good thing - we are, with the help of family, buying our own home. It's an upstairs-downstairs two-bedroom condo that's laid out just beautifully, with the living area below and the bedrooms above. I'm so excited about it.

And I am so very, very tired. But excited! But fighting baby blues. But thrilled! But really, truly not getting enough sleep. But happy! etc.

I recently got an Anglican rosary, and it's been helping me focus on my prayers when I get up to nurse the girls in the middle of the night. I'm hoping to write a longer post on it sometime, but for now I'm just curious if any of the other Anglican mom bloggers who read this use one. I've been using the Oh God, Make Speed To Save Us/Holy God, Holy and Mighty/Jesus Prayer cycle with it. I really like that it helps me actually use all those prayers that I love so much, especially when I'm too sleepy to keep myself going easily.

(And if you're interested in getting one, there's a good selection on Etsy. That's where I found mine.)

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

Friday, June 6, 2008


And this is what the kids were doing this morning. I love the way Gamgee is pressing down so hard on the brush in this picture, evidence of the seriousness with which he does his work:

Whereas Bess has a calmer, more mature style:

Her stated goal was "to make red paper" and I think she succeeded. It's funny to me how she can draw anything she likes now - people, animals, plants - but when she paints she can't resist simply covering the entire page with color.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

morning around the house

I had some fun taking pictures around the house this morning. Here's our bookshelf, which my husband built for me as a wedding present:

Do we look smarter if I take a picture with Jonathan Edwards in the foreground rather than Georgette Heyer?

Did you know that infant carseats stack? I didn't either, till I had twins:

This is a copy of a Constable painting, which I found thrifting once. It was a lovely find because we'd just seen the original six-foot painting at an exhibit:

These daisies, which my mother bought, are sitting on the kitchen table, adding a cheerful note:

Thanks for peeking in!

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell

intarsia crochet baby blanket

Here are my two baby girls snuggled up for a tandem nap under a blanket I made for them when I was in the hospital on 24/7 fetal heartbeat monitoring:

I actually made two blankets, but this one turned out best, and it's the one we use from day to day. I charted it out like you chart out cross-stitch and also sketched out where I wanted each patch (I worked it in rectangles) to go. Then I stitched it all together and edged it.

One of the blessings about making this blanket - aside from its usefulness now and the way it helped pass the time then - is that it gave me something to chat with the nurses about while I sat in bed in Labor Room 1 for six weeks. Turns out some nurses like needlework too!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

bad sympathy cards

Today I ordered some cards online. I like having birthday cards and such on hand, so I can send out a card when the occasion presents, and I've been getting a little low.

While I was ordering, I looked at the sympathy cards that were available. It's not something you want to have to send, but there you are. The problem was, most of them were awful. They came in packs, and while there was always at least one I could see sending (usually something along the lines of, "With sympathy . . . we're praying for you"), most of them were atrocious. It ranged from the cutesy-pukey ("How good it is that all the tears we ever cry are collected by angels") to the theologically bad ("Those who have given of themselves to others will live forever in each heart they have touched" - as my husband says, "what are you saying? Jesus lives in my heart, my uncle's gone to heaven!").

I decided that for times that call for a sympathy card, I'm going to stick to getting out a blank notecard and praying that the Holy Spirit will help me write good words.

That's something I've started doing with cards generally. I really started doing it when I was writing thank-you cards during my hospital stay. I'm still not great at writing cards, but I'm finding that when I ask for the Holy Spirit's help in sitting down and expressing some good thing - gratitude or encouragement or joy or sympathy - He does help me. It's still not a great skill of mine, but He helps clear my mind to focus on the task, on the person I'm writing. It feels like He helps me in loving whoever I'm writing to, and that's what really helps me actually put decent words down on paper.

So next time you sit down to write to someone, I encourage you to pray first.

Actually, it's also something I've taken to doing before I answer the phone or when I log onto my email. Usually it's a short prayer, something like, "Lord, please be between me and whoever is on the other line." But we are to pray without ceasing, and though I'm not perfect at it, these small interactions are another place I've found where I can invite the Holy Spirit into my day-to-day life, which is, of course, where He has the right to be anyway. And it helps me pay attention to what He might want me to do or say.

peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell