Pool Days

Tim and Hope are here in Texas! After a long walk through Euless, we decided to cool off with a swim in the pool. G’s last encounter with the pool didn’t go well…so, we didn’t have the highest hopes. But he did consent to dipping his feet into the water 🙂

Our lil' touristo, ready for the pool!

Here, he is fascinated by the fountain-- until the wind blew it into his face

Getting upset...

Much happier in a Bumbo chair, by the side of the pool

Chillin'. We called him "Esteban", the Costa Rican tourist

One for the Baby Book…

G had his 6 month Dr. appt. yesterday. We are doing quite well on the weight gain issues now– 14 lbs., 7 oz. That’s a little over 1 pound in a month (average) ! She said he looked like a completely different boy 🙂

On another note, when I described some of his eating habits (like the one where he unlatches my bra and “helps himself”), she chuckled and said, “He’s going to be a Titty Boy!”

Titty Boy.


That’s what she said.

Jesse’s determined that this is going to be his nickname throughout Junior High.

Oh dear.

Gregory-of-13-years-old, I am so so sorry. I always wanted you to live to be a grown-up. Now, it looks like you won’t make it past 7th grade recess.

The Voice

Is anyone as excited about a new show, The Voice, as I am?

Pascha Pictures, Round 1!

Tired, but happy, at nearly 5am!

Some of the youth group serving at the ice cream Sundae bar

How G looked for most of Easter...granted, it all took place long after his bedtime. He was barely even awake enough to keep his mouth open for communion!

Bright Monday

Pascha was wonderful, although it was very different from years past, for a variety of reasons. I haven’t uploaded the pics and videos yet, so I will talk more about it all in that post.

Tonight was our beloved Archbishop Dmitri’s annual Bright Monday Party at his house, 2 doors down from the Cathedral. This is only the 2nd time I’ve gone, but Jesse and I felt that it was really important to show love and support for our church family at this time, so we made it a priority to go.

Vladika is fascinated by G. He's 87, so he doesn't usually remember his name, but he always goes out of his way to ask me about him. Such a kind, kind man.

Someday, if/when he's remembered as a Saint, we will be able to show G this picture and say, "You pulled on his beard!"

And now, you get to see the difference between Jesse’s camera phone and Vladimir’s expensive camera.

Great and Holy Friday

As much as we wanted to, the Cone Family didn’t make it to as many Holy Week services as we would have liked. Any, in fact! G was crying and constipated for all of Monday and Tuesday (thank GOD for Prunes!), and Wednesday and Thursday were…emotionally rough. It’s been our worst Lent ever, spiritually, physically, emotionally, the whole gamut.

They always talk about the Parable of the Vineyard Workers, saying that even those who’ve come last to the table will receive the same as though who’ve been there all along. I definitely feel like the former. And I know that it isn’t “the same”, in a way. The Holy Week services aren’t an obligation, they are truly a joy, since they prepare me for what’s going to happen tonight!

But we did make it to my favorite service of Holy Week– the burial procession of Great and Holy Friday. We lit candles and processed around the outside of the church with the burial shroud of Jesus. After we were through, parishioners signed up to read Psalms all night over the tomb. In years past, Jesse and I have signed up for a slot or two, but for obvious reasons, had to forgo this year 🙂

The tomb

Best baby toy ever...made of FIRE. This is totally going under a "Baby's First Pascha" page in his baby book!

Let My Prayer Arise– Good Friday

My favorite part of the Lenten season is the hymn, “Let My Prayer Arise” that we sing every Wednesday and Friday night for Pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Based off of Psalm 141, it reminds me of another song I grew up singing at Covenant (which was my favorite, since it could be sung in round at Big Sur. I taught it to my kids at St. Peter’s, and it quickly became their favorite as well!).

The words:  Let my prayer arise in Thy sight as incense and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. Lord, I have cried to thee. Hear me! Hear the voice of my supplication when I cry to Thee. Set a watch, O Lord before my mouth and a door about my lips. Incline not my heart to evil words or make excuses for my sins.

The first video is what it sounds like, on a given day, in any Orthodox parish. The “trio” (of which I’ve only been a part of once!) sings a few pages, then the choir/congregation responds, back and forth for about 15 minutes. Usually, while the trio is singing their part, the entire congregation is bowed on their hands and knees.

The second video is another choir somewhere singing it. While it doesn’t have the “organic” homey quality to it that the first does, it does, actually, stay on pitch throughout the entire song 🙂

Lofts Update

I mentioned last week that we were toying with the idea of living in a loft. I wouldn’t have thought this was possible, with a baby and all, but our friends Josh and Heather are doing it with two kiddos and one on the way. She explained that they actually get outside to play more now than they did when they had a yard! Plus, she said, you don’t have to maintain it!

They live at the Mosaic lofts in Dallas. On a whim this last Sunday, Jesse and I went and did an official tour with the leasing office.

The things we loved: The views from the lofts were great! So cool to have the Solarium at the end of the living room– just a huge wall of windows overlooking downtown! The walk in closet in the Master was definitely big enough for a crib, changing table, and even a dresser– it was basically a small room. The kitchens were all granite countertops, side by side fridges. The living area felt soo much bigger than the square footage let on– so open!

The pool was crazy. Infinity edge means that when you’re looking at it, there doesn’t appear to be an edge….it just vanishes off the side of the building! Since we were on the 8th floor, it made me a little dizzy, honestly.  There was a huge rooftop entertaining area for kids to play on (a few were). A cigar lounge and arcade room seemed neat too. And a rooftop fire pit overlooking the Dallas skyline?? Awesome.

Here it is. See what I mean?? There is actually no way on earth for anyone to fall off. Plus, there are two levels of overflow, a few feet underneath. Sorry to ruin the "danger" element...

The downtown area was honestly the biggest plus-factor for us. 2 huge parks within walking distance, dozens of cool Italian restaurants. The Mosaic even had a “dangerously” good taco diner open until 3am on the first floor. Across the street was the DART rail station, so we wouldn’t need a car to go many places in Dallas. And the huge Farmer’s Market was just a 10 min. walk away!

The things we didn’t love: The parking situation. The Mosaic lofts charge an extra $50 for parking a car in their attached parking garage. Even when we went to tour the apartments, we had to valet park at the front door (but we didn’t have to pay). Guests would have to fork over $5 to park every time they came to see us– not helpful, considering I have 2 families from church who would be coming to me for piano lessons. The only way around this would be if I went downstairs and met them at the curb with a free guest pass. There is also a car lot across the street that would be free parking, but a bit of a walk at night time.

The apartments themselves felt…too new. Seems like a weird complaint, but I like quirky. It’s one of the reasons why I can’t stand the thought of living in a cookie cutter, right off the assembly line house  (which makes up 95% of Dallas suburbia).

We also probably wouldn’t use all the amenities we’d be paying for. A free tanning bed? No thanks, I’m a white-as-they-come-Caucasian!

We have another place, right around the corner that we tried to visit on Sunday but ran out of time. Jesse likes these a whole lot better. Let me know what you think!

They’re called “The Wilson” lofts.

The building is super old, even making the National Register of Historic Places

Their floorplans are very unique– over a 100 to choose from! All have wood floors and the original architectural details. If you knew me, you’d know how much this speaks to me!!

One of the floorplans in our price range. Look at those windows!!! You can also see the sliding doors...my fav feature!

One of the interior photos from their website


This post was brought to you by the thought, “Um, I wanna live there…”

How would one go about purchasing land like this? Impossible, she says.

far, far away...

watching ships sail by...

this fulfills every childhood fantasy of mine...

How could you relax anywhere else, ever again?

I never get tired of a treehouse!

infinity edge pond

the backyard tree fort of my dreams!

A Real Conversation


Jesse knows why I hate Bruno Mars’ song, “Grenade”. It has to do with a grammatical detail that I find highly aggravating. The singer goes on and on about how he’d do all these things for this girl…he says, “I’d catch a grenade…” etc. “I’d” is the contraction that stands for, “I would.” This saying is the English language’s only form of the Subjunctive Voice, which is used for hypothetical statements. At the end of each chorus, he says, “But you won’t do the same”. Won’t, as in, “will not”, which is in the Active voice. It’s infuriating. He’s hypothetically doing all these courageous things for the girl, whilst criticizing her for not actually doing them in real life. “Honey, I can totally imagine dying for you. Now, go throw yourself under a bus to prove you love me.”

Enter today’s conversation:

Kelly: Jesse, I found a new reason to hate that Bruno Mars song.

Jesse: Really.

Kelly: He says, “Knew you were trouble from the first kiss, had your eyes wide open, why were they open?” How CREEPY! Having your eyes wide open, staring at someone on a first kiss? Totally disgusting.

Jesse: Yes, but the real question is, how did he know her eyes were open unless his were too?

And there you have it. Why Philosophy and English MAs should not analyze pop music.