Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Many Faces of Virginia

We spend much of our days capturing and enjoying her various expressions, both happy and otherwise. This is one of our favorites so far...
"What are we going to do today brain? The same thing we do every day. Try to take over the world!" Our daughter may just turn out to be a mad scientist, albeit a very cute one.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

--Reinhold Niebuhr

Often in life, we are told that each of us controls our own destiny. We are led to believe that anything is possible if we just want it bad enough or work hard enough. For many aspects of life, I think this is true. But sometimes it isn't. There are some things in life that you can't control and you can't change.

Lately in my life, and in the lives of some people I love, this principle has been somewhat painfully true. There are some things we just can't change, no matter how much we'd like to and no matter how hard we try. We just have to accept them. Not everyone can be a neuroscientist, or any kind of scholar at all. Some people can't run marathons or climb mountains. And some of us will never be able to make a good pie crust, no matter how many times we try. Some people have physical limitations, some have mental, and some just have talents in one area and not another. And there comes a time when we have to accept that. It doesn't make us any more or less valuable, it's just part of who we are and the unique path that is our lives.

It is not usually easy to accept these less-than-ideal circumstances, however. Some people spend years of their lives or stacks of money trying to change things that just can't be changed. I've been pondering how to identify these aspects and how to find the serenity, or whatever it is, to accept them and let them be. When should I keep insisting that things will change if I just try hard enough, and when should I let it go? Not an easy balance to find.

I think I began learning this lesson when I was still single and dating. In fact, the title of my blog refers to a Billy Joel song that, for me, perfectly encapsulates a principle I became all too familiar with in my dating life. Some relationships just don't work. If you're not in love with somebody (or they're not in love with you), you're not. And you just have to accept that it wasn't meant to be and move on. And so it goes....Some people may find the song depressing, but I always found the song refreshingly realistic as far as "love" goes. And I'm glad now that I married someone who is so well suited to me, rather than trying to force something that just didn't work. But it's not usually easy to accept these things in the moment.

Another of the most played songs in my itunes comes from Alannis Morissette, and is perhaps also appropriate for these challenges of acceptance. (I often, probably too often, turn to music for wisdom in my life.) It's called "That I Would Be Good" and is, I think, appropriate for anyone assessing their self-worth based on shortcomings that may be completely out of their control. Our worth is not in our abilities, but in what we do with the abilities we have been given. And, even more, our worth is innate and unchangeable, whether we recognize it or not. If we cannot save the world in the way we had planned, it doesn't mean we can't improve the world in some small way.

So, while it is good to stretch ourselves, do our best, and try new things, it is also important to accept ourselves how we are. None of us is perfect and everyone is bad at something. In fact, most of us are really bad at a lot of things. The important thing is to focus on something good rather than the limitation. Rejoice in what you can do, accept what you can't, and let it go. Perhaps then serenity will come.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Virginia's First Week

My week was a very busy one. So much for a newborn to do....

My first order of business was informing everyone how much I did NOT appreciate the camera flashing all the time.

Of course I also had to spend as much time as possible bonding with my dad before he left for his big trip to Europe. I gave him plenty of messy diapers to change so he wouldn't feel left out.

I borrowed a carseat to go home in (my parents weren't quite ready for me yet, so I had to wait for my own carseat to come in the mail). At least my grandma gave me a blanket to keep me warm on the trip.Shortly after I got home, my grandma came to help take care of me. I think we're going to get along well.
I learned to focus on things, especially my mom's face.

I went to the doctor, though I didn't like it!
I showed off my skills, learned in the womb. If I hold really still, maybe no one will know I'm there. It worked every time daddy tried to feel my kicks (until, of course, I was kicking so much he could SEE them).
I took a bath. I'm still not sure how I felt about that experience, but I'm willing to try it again.

I practiced my yoga. Namaste.In addition to the yoga, I spent plenty of time just relaxing.Then, when it was time for my dad to come back, I got all dressed up for him.

And in honor of his homecoming, I had my first diaper blowout as soon as he got home. I knew he wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to change me.It was an exhausting week. So, I took every opportunity to get lots of sleep.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Weekend

Me on Friday night, super excited to be 37 weeks along. I was having a hard time being serious while James took my picture.
Me at my baby shower on Saturday, checking to see whether Virginia's new clothes were going to fit her. At this point I'd been having regular contractions for about six hours and my water was broken. But I decided I'd rather pass a few hours with friends than sitting in the hospital.
Me with my Mother's Day present. She's perfect.
Virginia Ann McKay
born: 10:17 p.m., Saturday, May 9, 2009
weight: 6 lbs. 15 oz.
length: 18.5 in.