Monday, January 28, 2008


we went to church. had willow's second baby dedication. ate korean food for lunch. then spent some time with beth's friend's family. the best part of the day came when we got to go on a date compliments of my in-laws. we went to see the movie atonement. it was pretty good. then we ate here.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

hula girl

willow always makes that face
willow with her brown family

Friday, January 25, 2008

beach again

its like one big happy communal tub

willow feet and a lei

beth and willow and the waikiki strip
apparently willow has been reading shakespeare

we went to waikiki today after a failed attempt to go to ko olina, which had zero parking. the water was perfect and willow enjoyed it. turns out she's something of a waterbug. i accidentally saw some old ladies' chest. apparently she forgot that she unstrapped her swimsuit top and rolled over just enough to ruin my day. beth went out with a friend tonight so i'm here with willow who is sleeping. hooray for that. i'm going to go read for a little bit.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

post about traveling

get up 6:00 am.. frantically pack. drive to sacramento airport and arrive at 7:30. check in luggage, take off our shoes, go through security. get a breakfast sandwich at burger king. gross i know. board the plane to pheonix. what- why pheonix, how do you spell that anyway? arrive in phoenix 2 hours later and wait 4 hours for flight to honolulu. pace like crazy with baby on back. board flight to honolulu with dirty obnoxious man behind us. fly 6 hour with baby being passed from lap to lap... its your turn. but it just was my turn. finally arrive in honolulu. lots of hugs. eat zippy's chili. mmmmmm.....

Sunday, January 20, 2008

10,000 days and san francisco

today we went to san francisco and i turned 10,000 days old. what a day. we saw the golden gate, that "crookedest" road in the world, fisherman's warf and the sea lions, and ended it all with a dinner at the stinking rose, which brags the world's longest garlic braid (it was about 900 feet long). we also got to see cousins, dave & sarah who live in san fran, which was awesome. oh and we met the white witch in an elevator. she scolded my brother in law- he was holding willow and she said, "you be careful with that beautiful head!" i kept expecting her to offer us turkish delights.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


well we survived willow's first flight. she had minimal ear pain, but pretty much refused to sleep, so her schedule is all out of whack now. we suffered for that last night- she woke up every hour on the hour. i think beth and i had more ear pain than her. so now we are in sacramento visiting my brother-in-law, waiting for cousins and aunts and uncles to come see us, and then going to pei wei. i love that place.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My lung

In case anybody was curious, or worried sick about me, it turns out I don't have a collapsed lung. I didn't have a heart attack. I didn't puncture a lung and I don't have pnemonia. I either have a bruised or fractured rib. I'll find out when the doctor calls with x-ray results. the question though, is how? I can;t even imagine how i could have broken a rib... weird.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A Simple Plea

for those who aren't familiar with the mess happening at the university where I received my education, you can catch up here. I can't tell you how disgusted I am with what is happening- because there just are not words for it. its more like an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I read the latest news from tulsa. and I think that awful feeling has not reached its peak yet- which gives me another kind of feeling. anyway, my plea is simple: stop and come clean, roberts family. stop trying to cover things up and pretend like nothing is wrong. stop making a mockery out of your students and alumni. stop making a mockery out of what so many of them have worked so hard to accomplish. stop making a joke out of our faith- and out of the Object of our faith. please just stop- and start talking.

I've thought recently that we really don't have a handle on the practice of confession. I mean if The Roberts family would have said from the beginning something like "we've been doing a lot of things wrong for a long time, and its time for us to step down" the integrity of the university would have been preserved and the family would have been forgiven and it could have all gone away. but instead, they denied and denied and are still denying and the situation has become ridiculous. but don't we all do this? I mean I usually don't readily admit that I was wrong- I try and defend myself first. david did that too when he sinned with bathsheba and samuel had to slap him upside the head. maybe we all need that sometimes, maybe that is what it takes for us to break down and confess our sins. we need to be slapped upside the head by someone who knows better. and maybe that is what the roberts family needs. and i pray that the lord provides someone to do the slapping soon. but... and here is the difficult part- we all have to be ready to forgive if they come clean. they may not ever be fit to run a university, but God help us if we ever decide that they are unfit for redemption.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Its been a while

I haven't posted in almost three months now for a couple of reasons. First I have been a little strapped for time. Also, I really didn't want to bore people with constant updates about Willow- or turn this into one big bragging session. So I avoided blogging altogether. But I'd like to re-introduce myself to this whole thing but whith an expanded focus. I will still post pictures of Willow and talk about her since she is such a huge part of my life. But I also want to share some thoughts about topics that I am passionate about: like faith, music, social justice (although I am starting to cringe when I hear the term), the mets, books, or any combination of these.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Willow is growing by leaps and bounds now. She eats constantly. Seriously. Beth and I are both pretty tired- but Beth more than I. She's doing most of the work. But we can honestly both say that Willow is well worth it. She smiled at me today. It may not have been intentional, but it still felt pretty good. Its incredible how quickly traces of a personality emerge. We already know that she is a slow-poke like both her parents (as evidenced by her eating habits). We also know that she is a cuddler- not all babies are, you know. She is sensitive and reactive (the startle reflex is on hyper drive). She prefers the outdoors to the indoors. And when all of her needs are met, she is very content. And we learned all of this before her 4 week birthday. Beth wanted me to add that she has already experienced a growth spurt, which made Beth feel like a milk machine. I am going to post some more recent pictures.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A Message from Willow

It has been a little while since I posted anything. I guess I've been a little busy. Anyway, in the spirit of my friend Todd's blog, in which he wrote a series of letters to his son while in Guatemala adopting him, I give you a message from our daughter. She wrote every word, I promise.

Hello everyone. I just wanted to take a minute from my busy schedule to say a few words. First of all, WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Ok, I'm glad I was able to get that off my chest. That has really been on my heart for a while now. So things out here aren't so bad after all. I didn't really know what to expect after living without gravity through my entire in utero experience, but gravity's cool. It's kind of weird though because I can really take advantage of all the open space and stretch out- it was a little cramped in there. I like my Boppy pillow. Its fun to lay there and just look around, throw a few punches and kicks every now and then to entertain the parents. But I'm just trying to use my time to get to know my surroundings. I discovered shadows the other day- they're pretty neat. And a lot of people have come to see me, which has been really fun. Its really too bad I won't remember any of this, because all of this attention would really help my self-esteem when I come to be an adolescent. Except the part about everyone saying over and over that I am so big. I'm glad I won't remember that at age 14. Anyway, since I love pretty much everyone at this point, if you are reading this blog, I can say with confidence that I love you and hope to see you soon. Love, Willow

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A. Willow's feet and Beth's feet
B. Ollie wants to be a part too
C. Naked in the cradle
D. Content
E. Willow loves the baby bjorn

warning... long post

So our daughter is now only 4 days old, and has already provided Beth and I with the most unique experiences of our lives. Sometimes it has been hard- I mean, really hard; other times it has been completely natural and easy. There has been excruciating pain, absolute elation, exhaustion, exhilaration, laughter, tears, tedious work, and a whole lot of fun. All in the past 4 days (well actually the past 9 or so). No wonder we’re tired.

I don’t have to go much into the early labor stage because I already wrote about it every couple of hours while it was happening. But I will say that the sheer length of it prepared Beth (and I) for a long, arduous labor. On Monday, after her ultrasound, we went to the birth center for another non-stress test and evaluation. The doulas, Tara and Lisa, met us there and Patty, a nurse, set us up in a room. The NST was picture perfect, but by then Beth’s contractions were not as regular as they had been that morning. This was bad because if she wasn’t having contractions at least somewhat regularly, she wouldn’t have been able to have her bag of waters broken, which we were hoping would bring on labor.

The midwife, Peggy, decided to check Beth anyway and discovered that she was between 4 and 5 centimeters, far enough along to break her water, which she did with what looked like a long, plastic knitting needle. That was at 3:30 on Monday afternoon. That was when the fun really started.

What followed was literally hour after hour after hour of contraction after contraction. They got closer and closer, more and more painful. We developed a ritual for Beth to cope with the pain: Beth and I would stand face to face holding each other’s hands and rocking back and forth. Beth would groan with low tones, which actually helped to open her cervix further. (It sounds hokey, I know, but there actually is a physiological reason for it.) Tara and Lisa offered much encouragement, sometimes a massage, and sometimes information. Actually just them being in the room was incredibly helpful. They made Beth and I both feel sane. Occasionally they even took my place in the ritual we had developed.

Every few hours (!) Peggy would come check Beth to determine her current state of dilation. It seemed like she gained a centimeter every time Peggy came, but again that was only every few hours. So we kept on with our ritual, going out to the garden for a while, coming back in and using the birth ball, and going in the Jacuzzi for an hour or so. This was especially helpful for Beth although she didn’t like the jets on. (Later she remarked, “its weird, I thought I would have wanted the jets.”) Both mine and Beth’s parents arrived at the birth center around 9:00 Monday night and brought some dinner, which by then was much appreciated (by me, not Beth; she didn’t want to eat anymore).

When she finally reached 8 centimeters at about 2am, she went back in the Jacuzzi, where she started having a weird sensation during her contractions. When I say weird, I mean it was bizarre for everyone there. Beth didn’t know what was happening to her- she just felt strange, like she had to use the bathroom. The look of confusion on her face confirmed that she didn’t know it was an urge to push that she was feeling. Lisa went to tell Peggy (the midwife) about this turn of events, but Peggy said it wasn’t quite time, she’s only 8 1/2 centimeters. More waiting, more ritual for another hour.

Peggy came back, checked her and said, “push as much as you like.” And Beth did. She pushed non-stop from 4:00am until Willow was born at 9:45. She pushed during contractions, and in between them (in between it wasn;t so effective, but she coudn;t help it.) She barely stopped to rest. We all tried to support her as much as we could, holding up her arms or her legs, giving her water, putting a cold washcloth on her forehead. But it was all Beth now. I couldn’t believe how much determination and drive she had to birth this baby. It made me tired just to watch, but Beth said she felt little pain at this point, just pressure. This was despite the fact that Beth received no anesthesia to get her through labor.

Beth pushed in every position possible: on her back, on a birth stool, on her hands and knees on the bed. The midwife even had us slow-dance through a few contractions while Beth pushed. It wasn’t exactly romantic, but the baby moved further down the birth canal in those three contractions than the previous two hours of pushing on the bed. Eventually a portion of the head became visible, bearing a small tuft of hair. That tuft of hair became the battle cry for the nurses, midwife, and doulas, who used it to encourage Beth along. “I can see the tuft! It’s getting closer!”

The pushing was endless, at least I thought it would be. But finally at 9:45, Peggy said “that’s it, we’ve got to have this baby. The next contraction is it.” And after a small episiotomy, some coaxing from all present, and some serious pulling from the midwife, Beth pushed one more time and out came Willow. They put here immediately on Beth’s chest, skin to skin, and she cried and cried. They put a hat on her and wiped her with a towel. She had a grey cone head and a yellowy-white body. There was so much confusion. Was this really happening? At some point a placenta was born. I cut the cord, took a picture of the baby. Beth was weeping from joy, from relief, from exhaustion. When I looked around, I realized everyone else was crying too. Tara, Lisa, the nurses, myself. There was so much emotion in the room, it was hard to think.

Then I realized that every single person there carried a portion of the burden of birthing our baby. Of course they were crying. They were completely invested in this birth. They put forward every last thread of energy to make sure that Beth felt supported. One nurse stayed three hours late because she “wanted to see the baby,” see the fruits of her labor. In a way, we all gave birth to Willow. I know Beth bore the physical burden, but even Beth says the physical pain was only a small part of the overall struggle. It was the emotional endurance, the persistence, the determination to finish the marathon that we were all a part of. And in the end we all enjoyed the prize.

The rest of the day was a blur. Parents, nurses coming in and out. Willow was cold so we wrapped her in blankets. I took a nap, but it was more like going off to a strange land. When I returned we ate pizza and had milkshakes- a healthy celebration meal. Beth tried to breastfeed. Eventually the nurse weighed Willow, took footprints, and gave a few shots. A few hours later, she got a bath. We had visitors who brought us dinner and Rita’s. We had some final instructions from the nurse a few hours later. And then we went home