Friday, July 29, 2011

In Other News: Crescent Rolls Are Fantastic!

First off, no, this entire post will not be dedicated to crescent rolls. They are just super tasty and versatile, and I have used them to bake this week, so they are on my mind. :) Oh, and the store bought brand are WAY not as good as the name brand. Just sayin.....

Anyhoo, how about an update and some fun pics of the girls?

Here's what's up in the Bush household these days
Stephen - My dear hubby is in his last (hopefully) two years of his program here, and needless to say, it has gotten TOUGH! He has so many projects and deadlines to work on (not to mention his dissertation that is looming over his head) that he is really feeling pulled in all directions right now. I'm proud of him, though, for working so hard AND trying to be a good Daddy on top of that. In fact, his dedication and work-ethic are some of the qualities that I love most about him. Keep him in your prayers; he is a BUSY man!

Elizabeth - For those of you who didn't already know, she just turned 3, and boy are we feeling it! And I mean that in good ways and not-so-good ways. She has definitely been giving us trouble lately because she is just at the age where she is trying to become independent, and she does NOT want to be told what to do. (Of course, as soon as I'm tempted to be upset over this, I am reminded that I can be the SAME way; it's just that my tantrums look different.) However, she's also at such a FUN age. She's super chatty (which I love), she's able to make little jokes, now, and she loves to do crafts. So we've had a lot of fun doing all sorts of crafts this summer.

Cecily - You know, I am truly so blessed to have a little sweetie pie like her around. She's finally at the stage in her little life where she is aware of a lot more, and she's so responsive. She smiles A LOT, and she's laughing now, too. She always manages to brighten my crazy days, and I'm so thankful for her. She's super social just like her mommy and big sister, so she wants to be included in everything, and cries when she feels left out. It's adorable to see her TRY to talk to us, and she makes the funniest faces. She'll be 4 months next week, and I cannot believe how the time has flown by already.

Jen - The biggest thing with me right now is not going to really be a surprise to anyone, but my back is giving me trouble again. It was inevitable, and I'm not going to waste time feeling sorry for myself, but I would appreciate all the prayers I can get. As I continue to lose weight, it will improve slightly, but I won't really be able to get any better until Cecily is able to do more things on her own. Please be in prayer with me that my back will hold out a little longer! I would be truly grateful!

Well, I guess that's it for now! Thanks to those of you who still read this thing!


P.S. Here is a great quote by Oswald Chambers that has been on my heart this week: "Never seek justice [for yourself], but always be willing to give it."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Three Years Ago Today...

* I was beginning the hardest and most wonderful job I would ever have.
* I was overwhelmed with God's beautiful handiwork.
* I was teaching my husband how to change a diaper.
* I was praying that God would help me be the best mommy I could be.
* I was thanking a good God for a safe delivery and a sweet baby girl named Elizabeth.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Elizabeth Joy!

**Disclaimer: I know I'm posting this a day late, but in my defense, I actually DID write it on her birthday! :) **

More pics to come soon!


Saturday, July 23, 2011


I must confess that I am a complete girl in that I'm pretty addicted to romance. Let me clarify, though. I'm addicted to REAL romance - not the trashy dime-store paperback novel crappy-excuse-for-romance stuff. I'm talking the real deal.

So, naturally, I fell in love with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice when I first had to read it for school. It soon followed that I read Emma out of the pure bliss of finding an author who was a good writer AND a romantic at heart. I had every intention of reading all of her other fine works, but was sadly side-tracked by real life.

Thankfully, I can sometimes find short moments during my days to read a little when both girls are sleeping. A few months ago, having not ever lost my love of good literature and well-thought-out love stories, I went back to my favorite author to get my fix on my greatest addiction, and I wanted to share because I'm convinced that I'm not the only romance addict out there. ;)

I read Sense and Sensibility first, and of course, loved it. But I enjoyed that book purely for the ending. Austen is a master at creating great characters and allowing them to change dynamically throughout their stories. Just watching her characters grow and develop is very fulfilling, but the best part of this book was the happy ending and the realization of just how much her two main characters had changed (for the better).

However, her novel, Persuasion, is a different matter entirely. I found myself absolutely captivated by every chapter, every twist in the plot, every character, every subtle joke and beautiful setting. There were points in the story where our lovely author had caught me up so much that I found myself worried for the fate of the protagonist and actually smiling at the outcomes of certain events. I even laughed aloud at one point. I don't want to give the plot away because it's SO good, I want everyone to go out and read it now, but I just have to say that it is one of Austen's more satisfying tales of life and love.

One thing that has always been a little frustrating to me about her writing style is that she is SO good at writing dialogue, and she is SO good at writing passionate confessions of love from her male characters that I expect her to do the same for her female characters, but she never does. At the end of every novel, when the male love interest finally confesses his undying affection, the words are beautiful and eloquent. But afterward, when the female character is supposed to respond in like kind, Austen just tells us that she does, but gives us no dialogue to read. Now, there's been a lot of speculation by scholars as to why this is. I agree with those who say that it's probably because she wants to leave it to the imagination of the readers. BUT it still drives me crazy when she alludes to passionate words and then doesn't give us the satisfaction of actually reading them.

All that to say, however, I can honestly admit that in this novel, she has given me almost enough to make me forgive this one issue. Her main male character, in the height of passion, reveals his love in some of the most romantic words I've read in a long time, and in response, we actually get to see and hear a few from the main female character. It's not a lot, but it was enough for me to be absolutely elated! My heart soared with the two love-birds as they were finally given their happy ending (and don't tell me that I just revealed a spoiler because everyone knows that Jane Austen ONLY ever wrote happy endings), and I haven't been this satisfied by a love story in a while.

Ahh, I can't even explain the satisfaction I feel from finishing a great book, especially one so well-written and well-executed. Jane Austen has, again, captured my heart!

Go read it. You won't be disappointed!



P.S. I'll be posting about Elizabeth's 3rd birthday soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Another Post Already?

To those of you who know me well, this will not come as a surprise, but to those who don't, I am a HUGE book nerd. I don't often have time to read books, but when I do, I eat them up like chocolate-chip cookies (the chewy kind -- NOT those crappy crunchy ones).

I can't help myself; I simply love to read. Getting lost in a book is probably the most relaxing thing I can ever do. (And I wouldn't be a good English teacher if I didn't recommend it to all of you, too!)

Anyway, one of my all time favorite book series is Harry Potter. Now, no matter what your views are of this series (or books in general for that matter), I am proudly going on record stating that I am simply NUTS about them, and when the girls are old enough, I will definitely be urging them to read them too!

I love them for so many reasons, and I won't bog down this post with all of them right now. However, having recently had a conversation with my dad (he is currently reading them), I've been thinking about my favorite reason for liking them.

Of the many great things that J.K. Rowling does with her series, the coolest (and bravest in my opinion) thing that she does is champion a character trait that most others either forget or discredit all-together - Kindness.

In her books kindness means everything. Those who show kindness are considered great and even powerful. I would argue that Kindness is considered the most valuable character trait in her characters, and Dumbledore refers to its power many times throughout the books.

In fact, Harry's mother is known specifically for her kindness, and it is the trait that is shown as Harry's greatest asset in his fight against Voldemort.

In the end, it is small, seemingly random acts of kindness that ultimately cause the defeat of "You Know Who," and that made me so very happy to read.

It got me thinking; kindness is a trait that is so over-looked in our society today. In fact, a lot of people view it as a weakness. But what if we chose to act more kindly to others? What if that was our first reaction to a situation instead of a last resort?

What if I choose kindness the next time someone cuts me off in traffic? What if I choose kindness when I see someone walking the streets for a hand-out? What if I choose kindness the next time Stephen and I have a spat?

I might be viewed as weak by some, but could it be that I actually have more power than they think? Could my small, seemingly random acts of kindness lead to victories that I can't even see -- victories that affect more lives than I could ever know?

I dunno. I'm probably just spouting platitudes that you have all seen and heard before, but it's been on my heart lately, so I think I'll take a cue from MJ and "take a look at [myself] and make a change."


P.S. If you haven't yet, go read Harry Potter. You'll be glad you did!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Long Time No See!

I don't know if ANYONE still reads this thing because I have been TERRIBLE about keeping it up. I'd love to say that life got in the way (and it's kind of true), but the truth is that I just haven't felt the gumption to write. Oh, I've had plenty of things I felt like writing....I just couldn't make myself sit down and type.Maybe it's because I now have two little girls who demand so much of my time, I just selfishly want to "vegg" during the few moments I have to myself. Or maybe I just haven't felt like writing.

In any case, I'm back, and with a firm commitment to write more -- if for no other reason than I want to keep up my writing muscles. It's good to write, and it's even better having written!
Even if no one reads this anymore; I will, and I'll be glad for it.

Here are some fun pics of my girls to start us off:

So, the story behind this one is that Becca Desloge sweetly made two matching apple hats for the girls to wear together. I wanted to get a picture, but I could only force ONE of them to wear it. Sigh, maybe I'll try again later.

That's all for now, my wonderfully faithful readers. Next time I'll hopefully have something a little more meaty.

Blessings to all!