01 March 2016


Hey everyone,

I have a new blog: Essays From the Ordinary. I don't plan to post often and won't include many personal details when I do, so if you want to keep up with our family online, Instagram is by far the best place to do so (my handle is @rdaphne.r). And my email address is still rebekahdrandolph@gmail.com.

This has been a fun blog to maintain, but its time is up. See ya!

30 December 2015

bits of December

Goodbye, 2015! You were exhausting and hard but quite educational. Among other valuable things, I learned that my life is better without Facebook. That the second baby is a completely different proposition from the first. That I'm not parenting from a higher moral plane than my children, just a redeemed one. That we should only plant one tomato bush next year. That snuggles trump laundry. That it's smart to keep art and music in your life when kids come along. That Amazon Prime is worth all the pennies. That I need to be outdoors, go to bed on time, and take the dang cod liver oil. That my momiform of Jeans and Black T-Shirt simplifies life beautifully.  That I should embrace my introversion. And that I don't have to feel guilty about eating cheese, forgetting to blog, or letting Ellie watch Netflix every afternoon.

Huzzah, merry holidays, and bottoms up to old lang syne! 

Pat Sajak has a funny Twitter feed.

Cockatoo dances to Elvis.

One man, six photographers, wholly different perspectives: the power of expectations to shape our opinion of someone.

Map of Europe, according to its culinary horrors.

"5 Wine Myths That Should Be Put to Rest."

"That's Not Autism, It's Simply a Brainy Introverted Boy."

On the other hand, discovering Aspberger's three years into marriage.

"Motherhood: The Highest Ordinary Calling."

27 November 2015

a November report

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
-Ephesians 1:3-4
November's post count threatens to stay at 1. That would be an all-time low, so here, let's bring it up to a respectable pair with a haphazard dump of thoughts.

Mothering Ellie is hard now. Not because she is a terrible person. It's just that . . . she is a person. She has all the frustrations, and complexity, and forceful opinions of a real live human being. Furthermore, she fully believes that the world is her own private kingdom. We both lose our tempers. Ellie flops onto the floor. I flop onto the couch and fume for a while, and then I pray as hard as I can to Jesus. I apologize for my impatience, and she gives me a peck on the cheek and goes to find some salt to dump on the table.

Oh, I love her. I think of the love God has for me, and how tiny my love for Ellie must seem in comparison to His! But I love her up and down and all around: her hilarity and intelligence, sprightly imagination, ridiculous mood swings and jaw-dropping moxie. (She calls me honey. Jared calls her a sassball.) I can't figure out if she is very much like me, but she is very much herself. And I like herself.

Zoe has fully arrived on the scene and is here to PARTY, ya'll. What's that Mother Goose rhyme? "Upstairs and downstairs and in my lady's chamber?" Add "munching dirt, collecting bruises, and constantly in danger," and you have Zoe. Half the time she wants to be glued to me, and the other half of the time she is an absolute hoyden. She climbs everything and crawls at lightning speed, and these days she has enough strength and wit to satisfy her curiosity: what's in this cupboard? oh goody! I can open it! oh look, a bottle of hairspray and a toothbrush, such fun I will have! Of course, she then puts on a convincing show of innocence, what with her blonde wisps and round eyes and joyous grin.

This Thanksgiving, I gave thanks mostly for the "spiritual blessings in the heavenly places." My material blessings are wonderful, and I do pray that I'd have a clearer vision of them each year, so as not to fall into discontentment. But I'm most struck by the riches of Christ's love. By the fact that he never abandons me, even when I cannot see Him or or muster an authentic hallelujah. By the fact that he understands me, every tightly wrapped rose-petal layer of my heart, even when I cannot begin to understand myself. By the finality of justification, the permanence of my inheritance, and the unstinting abundance of his grace that meets me in my native poverty.

Confession: I always thought it sounded a bit hokey and self-serving to say "Oh, don't congratulate me! I'm so weak! These good things I did were only by the grace of God! " This year, though, I came to that point: I realized that it is all through Him. Really. I failed enough this year that I came to see that failure is my default state, or would be, outside of God's enabling-- left to myself I fall. I just don't have anything good that I ginned up on my own, and I never have. My supposed triumphs are Christ in me, and each gives one more reason to marvel at Him.

In quietness and in trust is still my strength.

23 November 2015

then she said

"Does the sky have a belly button?"
-working on anatomy facts

 "I close the curtains so we can fall Zoe asleep!"
-helping her sister take a nap

"I want to work with Daddy in the garage. And I want a pink hammer and pink nails and pink screws."
-big plans for her home improvement career

"Can you draw a blue elephant?"
"Can you draw your toothbrush?"
"Can you draw Daddy's swimsuit?"
"Can you draw a sad egg?"
 -commissioning crayon art from her mother

Jared: Do you like your lollipop?
Ellie: No, it's a CANDY.

Me: Ellie, I am in charge because I am the mommy. You are not the mommy.
Ellie: I'm the Ellie?
Me: Yes.
Ellie: You can be the Ellie. I will be the grandma.

Jared: What did you do today?
Ellie: Grocery store!
Jared: And what did you get there?
Ellie: Oh, just some things.

Ellie: I want my cantaloupe!
Me: Your what?
Ellie: My cantaloupe!
[I look around and then realize]
Me: You mean your envelope!
Ellie: Yep. My cantaloupe.

Jared: Ellie, do you want to run an errand with me?
Ellie: Ooh! What we gonna pick out?
Jared: We're going to get some tools.
Ellie: Shoes?! 

[as she assists me in the kitchen]
Me: Good job stirring!
Ellie: Good job tasting!

Jared: Hey, where's my knife?
Ellie: I take it! [displays proudly]
Jared: And where's my fork?
Ellie: Oh, it's all gone! You can use your hand.

Ellie: Can we go to grandma's house?
Me: We don't have a car today, so we can't go anywhere.
Ellie: Yeah, our car blow up.

26 October 2015

Family snippets

To begin, I'll point out that this is only the second post I've written all month. Draw your own conclusions about my busyness level. Sitting down at the computer with the adorable monsters munchkins both awake is a joke: Ellie wants to sit on my lap and type, or share my tea, or watch Little Einsteins, while Zoe makes a beeline for a trash can or a bookcase or a set of electrical outlets. She is a troublesome monkey, as we tell her ten times a day (she responds with a brilliant five-toothed grin and crawls off to find something else to destroy). I'm fine with that now. I fought it for months, but just this week, reached the blindingly obvious conclusion that I no longer live in the Writing Frequently chapter of my life, and I shan't live there again for years. Forcibly wedging my blog into the current chapter-- which we might title Loving My Babies and Not Doing Much Else-- is a terrible idea. I will not live under that self-imposed burden anymore.

It's remarkably freeing. Without realizing it, I had come to believe that if I wasn't maintaining my wee space on the internet, I was letting myself down. Maybe I was even letting God down by wasting my gifts. And-- I think due partly to my generation's congenital compulsion to Change the World and Make a Difference-- wasn't I supposed to be aiming high? If I contented myself with ordinary life, life without an interesting internet presence and a significant project, I could fail to achieve my full potential (which may be the fate we millennials fear above all else).

All false, and absurdly so. I've got a billion things to do. They're extremely ordinary but God gave them to me, which makes them quite precious. They concern the physical needs of my family, the care of our lovely home, the kindness I can show to friends and neighbors. And it turns out that they are essential things, even when I'm not telling the internet about them. Shock! Amazement!

So I'm going to march along my noisy little road of mothering and home-keeping, without a keyboard hanging round my neck like a millstone, and without trying to measure up to the movers and shakers. Or anyone else, for that matter. I believe that God is calling me to do something significant, but I no longer think that "significant" means "affecting lots of people and accompanied by beautifully composed pictures." He sees. He cares. He blesses. That is sufficient.

Two children feels like a lot of children, these days. They're gorgeous and smart and loving them is a full time occupation.