Weighting to Lose

February 17, 2016

Hello again!

I have not showered, I need to mop my floors, prep supper and fold laundry. So naturally I’m going to use this precious few minutes of Theo’s nap time to write you a blog post. Hooray!

Here are a few things:

What is everyone watching on TV these days?! Suggestions, please. TLC pretty much just airs the show, My 600 Pound Life all day long, so I need some good Netflix ideas. Although, my friend Rebecca just posted a wonderful article about how we should all be like Coach and Tami Taylor, so maybe I should just watch Friday Night Lights for the billionth time. Texas forever.

I need some help losing this pregnancy weight! Apparently I am not one of those people whose body becomes automatic supermodel whilst nursing. (Shocking.) My body would rather cling to these pounds with chubby hands. I just can’t seem to get the scale to budge. It may have something to do with the constant spoonfuls of peanut butter I eat directly from the jar, but I doubt it. TLC will probably be calling me to be on My 600 Pound Life pretty soon. (Also, is this new weird saggy stomach pouch ever going to go away? It scares and confuses me.)  Anyway, any mamas have weight loss tips and tricks that worked for you?

Apparently this is becoming a mommy blog. Because I need to post a pic of my boy who is nearly 13 weeks and has no trouble growing — deep and wide.

He’s also learning how to fall asleep without a sleep prop (code for pacifier) so that Mom doesn’t have to go replace it all night long. He’s loves this new lesson about as much as I love math, which is not very much at all.

Has everyone seen Donald Trump on Full House? I hope so.

Speaking of ridiculous politics, really America with this election season? I’m thinking it’s a good time to be an expat. I’ll just sit here on my year-long maternity leave and be judgmental. (While paying lots of taxes.)

Once upon a time ago this was a peaceful, cute sitting area.

OK, nap is over and someone needs entertaining. (Me.) Also, I think TLC is calling.

Talk to you soon!


Umm … apparently I gave birth to a human baby nearly three months ago. This is what they tell me, at least. And there are pictures to prove it, so I guess it happened.

I’m sorry I haven’t blogged about it all yet. I keep wanting to update my blog template and become an awesome sahm (that’s how all the cool people on the What to Expect mommy forums abbreviate stay-at-home-mom) blogger-type person, but then I have to choose between eating, showering, dressing, or watching The Bachelor while my son takes his 30 minute nap (he should be napping for 1.5 hours, but he scoffs at that idea), and in conclusion, I never blog. But I do know what Ben and Olivia and Chris Harrison are up to.

However, today is a new day!

So, my life has completely changed in every way. And in theory I knew that was happening, but then it happens. And then you realize that Rachel’s life after having a baby on Friends is not realistic. Because you never see that baby — Emma apparently doesn’t cry or eat or need attending to. You’re free to go to Central Perk alone every afternoon. And Rachel’s body is amazing immediately. And she’s not in pajamas until noon every day. And she’s not crying about the pain of breastfeeding. Thanks for nothing, Hollywood!

Anyway, back to my baby. This is Theodore Dale William Snyder. Theo for short. (Because with a name that ridiculously long, you need a “for short.”) Hi, little Theo!




He was born on November 19, a week after my due date. Lazy.

I had to be induced, which meant that I spent the night going through early labor, and then the next morning was only 2.5 centimeters dilated, which was not cute. But THEN! The doctor broke my water at 8:30 in the morning and somehow I had delivered Theo by 11:24 — three hours later. Here are a few quick points about this labor and then we’ll move on before we get TMI:

  1. A fast labor is nice because three hours and you’re done!
  2. A fast labor is terrible because those are the most painful, intense, deathly hours of your life. No breaks in between contractions. No “stages” of labor. No relief. No fun.
  3. When you have a fast labor, you might give up all resolution to go med free and then beg for an epidural but then suddenly be dilated to an eight and realize that you are about to die and push out a baby and there will be no pain relief because there’s no time!
  4. If your doctor wants to monitor your contractions and the baby’s heartbeat your entire labor, you may as well give up on life. Being stuck in that bed is the worst and you won’t be able to do any of the massages or walks or baths that your classes tell you will make labor bearable.
  5. Suddenly you’re done! And you seriously feel nine gazillion times better within three seconds. And you never even look to see what the doctor may be stitching or piecing back together because suddenly your very own baby is on your chest and you did it and he’s beautiful.
  6. It happens how it happens. Fast, slow, epidural, pain, whatever. And somehow you don’t die, and somehow your body does what it’s supposed to, and somehow Jesus helps you, and somehow you suddenly have a son and become a family.

8 lbs 7 oz. Theo, not me.

Wow. Being pregnant and giving birth shows you a whole new aspect of God and his care and creativity. He formed Theo inside of me. And he created me to be able to bring him life. And he made my body to be able to sustain him afterwards. It’s quite amazing, really.

Stretches with Wolves

Stretches with Wolves

So I had Theo in November and then began the process of healing and nursing and being awake for the rest of my life. The first three to four weeks were really hard. My body hurt in so many ways. I felt like all I did was feed him. He would be inconsolably fussy in the evenings. But my mom was there and Andrew’s mom was there and they were so helpful. Andrew was amazing and kept us scheduled when I couldn’t think straight. At three weeks old we traveled to the States so Theo could celebrate his first Christmas with my family. Then we spent time with Andrew’s family. And then suddenly Theo was six weeks old and I was going to take care of him by myself. How can something that weighs ten pounds and can’t move anywhere on its own be so terrifying? I don’t know, but it can.

Our little teacup piglet!

Our little teacup piglet!

Theo's a good eater. He's a cheerful, chubby kind of fellow.

Theo’s a good eater. He’s a cheerful, chubby kind of fellow.

And now we are somehow at 12 weeks! Everyone you talk to and everything you read says that it gets a bit easier at around the three month mark. And when you’re two weeks in, that reassurance makes you want to kill everyone because three months is years away and you’ll certainly be dead of sleep deprivation and nursing pain by then.

A rare moment of sleep.

A rare moment of sleep.

But we’re here. And I can already feel how much easier it is. He is learning to put himself to sleep a bit better. His naps are gradually becoming more dependable. Nursing is a million times better. He smiles and giggles and is becoming so much fun. (He still needs to practice sleeping longer at night, but we’ll get there. Right? Please?)

Yes, this white child with blue eyes came out of my body. He's only a quarter black. Like the Psych singing group.

Yes, this white child with blue eyes came out of my body. He’s only a quarter black. Like the Psych singing group.

I love this little friend. It is cliche, but I love him more than I thought I could. Being a parent is very different. It is very hard. And it is very amazing. Little by little as I go through this process, I understand a bit better how deep is the Father’s love for us. Vast beyond all measure.

Thanks for reading friends! I was interrupted about 1,000 times while writing this post, even though it was “nap time.” But hopefully I’ll get to write again soon. Goodbye from Theo and me!

I like to blog once every six or so months. Keeps the writing skills in shape.

One day, you guys. One day this will be a thriving blog with a fresh, new look and an author who writes on it more than never. It may not happen until the restored Eden, but it will happen.

Anyhoos. How is every all of you? To catch you up on all the exciting haps of my life (work and TV), here’s a little listy! (It is Friday, after all.)

  1. Apparently I am birthing a baby within the next three-ish weeks. Umm….

Here’s a bit of a progression for you. It’s gotten super-sized around here.






I am having a baby so soon! I have decided that I am not one of those women who loves being pregnant. Good for those of you who are, but I find the hefting and maneuvering and groaning to get out of bed eighty times a night to go to the bathroom a bit excessive. Not my cup of tea. I’ve also had some issues with uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors on my uterus) that have sent me to the ER a few times, so that hasn’t helped. Overall, I’m ready to be not pregnant again.

It’s getting really exciting! I am feeling ready to meet this little man who is constantly kicking and punching and hiccuping. (What is he so busy doing in there? Sometimes he’s so active — very important things to do and nowhere to go.) What’s he like? Will we get along? Is he going to like Friday Night Lights? All things we need to know.

But then sometimes I am super nervous about it. First of all: labor. They showed us a nice little video at our prenatal class, and the lady in the video gave birth naturally, and she looked like she was having a semi-tough time, but mostly the baby just kind of slid out of her and then they celebrated and laughed and cried. Then we went home and I looked up some You Tube videos. HORRIFYING. These women were near death and screaming and HORRIBLE things were happening to their unmentionables. I can’t do it. Put me to sleep and take him out of my belly somehow and wake me in three months when my body has recovered.

Second of all: after labor, I have a baby! What do I do with him? What if he makes me cry all the time? (I hear that he will.) What if he isn’t into the food I offer him? What if he doesn’t like Friday Night Lights? Yikes.

Seriously, though, it’s pretty exciting. I already can tell that I love him so much, and I’ve put the Shema in his room so we can work on loving the Lord right away. This baby is making me a bit sappy though. The other day I started crying because pretty soon I won’t feel him in my belly anymore, and I felt sorry for Andrew who has never gotten to feel him move around inside of him, and then I watched an episode of Call the Midwife where a baby is born early and they think it’s dead, but then it’s alive! I pride myself on not letting my emotions control me.

Also, I get to buy him old man sweaters and teacup piglet hats.


2. I have one more week of work before I go on my year-long maternity leave. Canada! You’re amazing. I’m so, so grateful to have the year. But it’s also weird to be leaving work for a year but not officially quitting. Work has been awesome lately — I got to teach a college Bible class, and this past summer I facilitated the whole church doing the Community Bible Experience where we read the New Testament together. I think I might miss work a bit.

3. What are all of the Netflix shows I should watch while I’m up feeding at 4 a.m.? Please leave suggestions. Unfortunately, Canadian Netflix is different than American, so probably only about half of what you recommend will be available to me. If so, I’ll allow you to mail me DVDs of the recommended shows. Thanks.

4. Did I tell you I got to hold a piglet the other day? Cause I did.


5. After Target abandoned me they have apparently decided to start shipping to Canada. Except that Andrew heard a radio report and Target apparently is the worst at knowing how to plan to do business in a foreign country. The prices online are super high, which is because of the exchange rate. But most companies temper those prices because they know people will have to pay a lot for shipping. But not Target! Some lady tried to buy a pair of $25 pajamas and after Target added in her shipping costs and everything, her bill was over $70. So, basically, if Target doesn’t do like other companies and lower costs so that the overall price is manageable, no Canadians are going to order from them and they’ll shut down the online shipping and fail again! Target! For the love of all that is beautiful and Oh Joy and Nate Berkus, please get it together!

6. I don’t know what it means to whip or nae nae. I think I have a general idea of what “on fleek” means.

7. Canada just had an election. The season lasted for like 60 days or something and everyone was dying because it was so long and they were so tired of politics. Sweet, innocent Canadians.

OK, I have things to do, people. (Mindy Project, eating, maybe some freelance.) How are you? Leave me a little note to let me know. Joves!



So, in case you haven’t heard The News, I’m pregs. As in, pregnant. As in, with child. As in, it feel like there’s a tumor in my abdomen.


Crazy, hey?! (Canadians say “hey” all the time. Even more than “eh.” I’ve started saying “hey” a lot, and I’m not proud of it. But our child will be Canadian, so I’ve got to get used to it. But don’t you worry, it’ll be ‘Merican too.)

So, I’m almost 14 weeks pregnant, and the baby is due in mid-November! I wouldn’t say I’ve been feeling good, but I know I could be feeling worse. I actually haven’t thrown up at all, which I find pretty amazing. I do get headaches and nausea and oh, the tiredness. I’m not a very awake person to begin with, but pregnancy fatigue is a thing, people. Andrew has been very kind to me lately by not calling me lazy when I am constantly asleep at 7 p.m. He also let me cry in his arms for literally 45 minutes the other night when I was worried that I’d gained weight in my face. (I think I’ve got the pregnancy hormones completely under control.) And he’s been great about foraging through the garbage for food because all cooking has basically ceased the last three months in favor of me eating any/all crackers or other carb-type foods I can get my hands on. (Yes, I’ve made us ramen noodles for dinner because I’ve had a sudden craving. Again, not proud. But man, ramen noodles are delicious sometimes and you know it’s true.)

Little Tiny Tucker is apparently the size of a peach this week and you’ll be glad to know that he/she finally has a thyroid. Phew.

So now that I’m pregnant and will be having a kid, does this mean that my bloggy will have to become a mommy blog? I don’t even know what mommy bloggers do, I just know that a lot of people do them. The one mommy blog I’ve ever read is Big Mama, and she mostly just talks about what she did that day, or cute dresses she saw online, or what TV shows she is watching, or what she made for dinner. She also sometimes posts pics of her daughter and talks about some stuff that they have done. So basically, my blog is already a mommy blog, even though I’ve never had a child. I’ll just replace tiny animal pics with pics of my new baby. Perfect, nothing has to change! OR — just throwing this out there — maybe we can just add pics of my baby to the tiny animal ones, right? We’d miss the wittle baby piggies, wouldn’t we?

teacup piglet

Speaking of which, I realize that it is silly to talk about the possibility of my blog changing when I never even blog in the first place. But do you think becoming a mom will make me blog more? I am betting on “yes.” Because did you know that Canadians get a year of maternity leave?! Take that, America! You have some catching up to do!

So during my year of learning how to care for my baby, which will likely involve a lot of sobbing (me), feeding (me), burping (me), sleeping (me? please sometimes me…) I’m guessing I may want to tell you all the things. So let’s look forward to sometime in January when I may be sane enough to write you a note or two.

Guys, what has even been going on with you? How is Target? (Target is now closed here, so my baby will look like a hobo. It’s all up to Jilly Bean to send me darling Target items.) How is everything else?

Andrew and I have been learning a lot about trusting the Lord with all kinds of things — money, our baby, our future, etc. He is worth trusting, so we try to do it.

So that’s our big update! I could also update you on how my pants are all getting quite tight or how we are watching Big Brother Canada (and it’s the best, don’t even hate), but I’ll refrain. I’ll try to blog again soon — I miss you guys!

Have the best day! I’ll be over here trying to keep up my no-vomit streak!


Target is closing all of its Canadian stores.


Who knew that my first blog post of 2015 would be about something so devastating? What am I supposed to do now, shop at WalMart?! #nothankyou #nothappening #never

I’ve been receiving texts, emails, and Facebook and Instagram posts all day from family and friends offering actual condolences because they knew I would be in mourning over this tragic turn of events. I’m not sure if I should be a bit embarrassed that my name is so closely associated with a cheap retail store in the minds of my friends, but whatever. It’s the truth. I love Target and it is leaving me.

It may be too soon for me to speak — raw emotions and all that — but I have been moving through the five stages of grief since hearing this heartbreaking news this morning (I move quickly), and I thought I’d share my processing with you, dear readers.

First, denial. I woke up this morning to a text from a friend who shared the news that Target Canada was closing. I shouted “NO!” and woke Andrew up. (Actually.) Then I Googled it (similar to Asking Jeeves, Mom) to see if it was actually true. My heart sank as articles confirming the worst started streaming insensitively down my iPhone screen.

Then the anger came rolling in. Canadians. Target is the best thing to have ever happened to you. You literally only have WalMart left as a “comparable” option. What if you want something not ugly? Where are you going to go now?! Why on earth didn’t you shop at Target more?

Next came bargaining. I tweeted Target Canada, Target US, Target Anywhere today and asked them to at least start shipping to Canada from the U.S. online store if they’re going to shut down. I need me some Target somehow. (Seriously, if you are a Target employee/executive who is reading this (quite likely, I’m sure), please consider shipping to Canada!)

The pinata at my Canadian bridal shower was filled with Target gift cards!

The pinata at my Canadian bridal shower was filled with Target gift cards!

Then the depression set in. I may have actually shed a tear. (Not lying.) Now I know that everyone comes to my blog for my practicality, preciseness, lack of drama, and refusal to exaggerate. But I do want to point out that I understand that the closing of a retail store is not an actual tragedy. I am still clinging to a very slight grip on reality. There are clearly things around the world and family and friends who are dealing with real, heartbreaking and difficult things that are immeasurably beyond me not getting to buy Nate Berkus lamps any longer. A lot of what I’m saying is for the sake of my favorite friend: hyperbole. But I am actually feeling a bit sad about Target leaving, and here’s why:

1. I get all of my everything there. Clothes, snacks, shoes, purses, makeup, deodorant, nail polish, thank-you cards (maybe someday you’ll get a wedding thank-you), gum, rugs, lamps, shower curtains, shampoo, toilet paper…you get the point. Target is my go-to. They have cuter, cheaper stuff than most places. I love it.

2. In a weird way, Target feels like home to me. In case you don’t know, the very first Target opened in Minnesota. The Target headquarters are located in downtown Minneapolis. When I was growing up in Minnesota, WalMart was scarce, but Target was everywhere. My mom loved shopping there, and it’s just where we went for all of our household needs. When I moved to Colorado after graduating from college, I would often go to Target by myself after work. I would shop for stuff for my house, buy a shirt or two, and check out the latest makeup. Something about being at Target while living so far away from home was comforting to me. It reminded me of Mom and Auntie Faye and all the times my brother and I would buy cherry Icees from the Target food court.

I lived in Colorado Springs for six years, and then I decided to move to Denver to work on my Master’s. It was a big change and I missed my friends. I was living alone for the very first time, and it felt weird. My apartment in Denver had a Target less than a mile away, and I remember going there for the first time after I moved and feeling a bit less lonely. I stepped into the store, and it was familiar, a comfort.


Then one day I met a Canadian boy, and I liked him a lot. We started talking and texting and holding hands. We decided to love each other, and then get married. This meant that I would move to Canada, which is kind of a big deal. And, as silly as it sounds, when I heard that Target was opening in Canada, it made me happy. It made me feel like even though I was moving away again, this time to a whole different country, there would still be a piece of home there. I could go to Target and it would feel familiar, I could look at the same items my mom was looking at, and somehow it would feel like I was not quite so far away.

So, as trite as it may be, that’s why I am actually sad that Target is leaving Canada. It is my place. It feels homey and comfortable, and that will soon be gone. But thankfully, in the last few months, home is now wherever I’m with Andrew.

But the question remains: where will I get everything cute from now on?

The next step is acceptance. I’m not quite there yet, mostly because I enjoy being dramatic and exaggerated for as long as possible. But it will come, I’m sure. And if not, you have lots of Target-related blog posts to look forward to. (I think next will be a pictorial essay tour of my home in which I point out all the things I got at Target.)

So, I am sitting shiva today. Send BBQ chips and flowers to cheer me.

Target Canada, you will be missed.



Hi, guys.

So, here is a type of post I rarely do. I prefer to stick with TV talk and Old Testament sharing and sweet pics of baby animals who, like Michael Jackson, know that it doesn’t matter if you are black or white.

But my Facebook feed is full of talk on Ferguson the past couple of days. And so much of that talk has made me sad. I barely even feel cheered by this picture of a very, very tiny goat.


(OK, that’s not true. I actually feel very cheered by this picture.)

Anyway, here are my thoughts on pretty much everything except the details of the Ferguson situation.

I don’t think I can be called out as a person who plays the race card. In fact, most of my friends probably forget that I’m black. Identifying as black or white — especially since I’m an equal mix of both — has never been my thing. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’d rather be known for a million things other than my “race.” (e.g. loving Jesus, being awesome, liking BBQ chips, knowing the lyrics to every dc talk song that has ever existed, etc.) I have never been treated poorly because of my skin color, and I am grateful for that.

So, it is probably partly because I don’t think of race often, that I feel such a sadness, disappointment and heartache when situations like this arise. I open my Facebook and see my friends lumping entire groups of people together. I read an article on the Interwebs and peruse the comments (horrible idea, I know) and see truly evil things being said about black people — things akin to what Nazis said about Jews. I see my friends post opinions that blame everyone but their group — be it black or white, conservative or liberal. I see acquaintances mixing their political beliefs with their faith in a way I’m not convinced Jesus would appreciate.

I see irony galore. Black friends who often call for blacks to be strong, outstanding citizens somehow find a way to condone looting, violence and threats against whites. Conservative friends who consistently post about police militarization and how if Obama pushes the boundaries any further they have their rifles loaded and ready to use against the state (police), are suddenly eager to defend police in Ferguson. Or people respond with apathy, annoyed that their reality shows are interrupted with the latest news because they simply don’t care.

And what floors me is that people don’t seem to care what the actual truth is. They claim that they do, but they don’t. I think it is telling that whenever something like this comes up, whether it’s Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman or Mike Brown/Darren Wilson or any other black person/white person, I know who will be posting what opinion before I ever open Facebook. I know which people will be defending the white person, no matter what. And I know which people will be defending the black person, no matter what. I know who will be blaming “those conservatives” or “those liberals.” I know who will be posting stats about black criminals or white privilege. I know who will be blaming Bush and who will be blaming Obama. I know who will be defending violent looting, and I know who will be denying that racism is ever a problem in America. The fact that I can predict people’s opinions on any situation, before there’s even any evidence, shows me that people have already decided what is true — on both sides. Their opinions — no matter the details of a situation — have already been formed. But here’s the thing — that’s not how truth works.

But what makes me the saddest is Christians. Christians who get into “screaming matches” on their comment threads. Christians who fan the flame by posting subtle race jokes or promote the “us against them” mentality.

Last night as I scrolled through my Facebook feed (the majority of which is filled with Christian friends), I could only think of Paul’s plea for the church in Ephesus:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Eph. 4:29).

That verse got lost somewhere in all the opinions and vitriol. In fact, all of Ephesians 4 should probably be on our minds so that we do our best to get rid of bitterness, rage, anger and malice, and replace them with kindness, compassion, humility, gentleness, patience and love.

I don’t know why this situation has made me feel so uneasy, and I am probably just adding to the noise by writing this post. (Switchfoot would not approve. I am really dating myself with my music references in this post.) But this situation has just been a reminder in my own life that I often do very little to try to understand where others are coming from. I think I know everything. And what I should do is, through the power of the Holy Spirit, attempt to imitate the attitude of Christ — the one who humbled Himself for our sake.

Now I am not pushing for a kumbaya campfire sing. I know that there are harsh realities out there of violence, crime, pride, injustice — the harsh realities of sin. But what I am calling myself to do is, as a believer, make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (And honestly, I don’t want to make every effort. People often annoy me and make me want to make less effort. But, unfortunately for Denise’s Bad Attitudes, Christ has called me to something more.)

Reading Facebook last night made me ache for the finished restoration of all things. I wanted us to quit worrying about our “rights” and instead join with every tribe, tongue and nation in the worship of the One who is making all things new. I wanted us to recognize that the example we have from our God is one of mercy and justice — displayed profoundly through the death of His Son for our sins. For our riots. For our racism. For our apathy. For our hatred, piety and judgment.

It is only through the mercy of God that we can receive true justice. It is only through the power of His Spirit that we can live out Ephesians 4. And it is only through the grace of Jesus that those from every people and nation who were purchased through His blood will worship together in unity.

Amen, come Lord Jesus.

Hi, guys!

Well, I’m drinking coffee, looking through the Target catalog and getting ready to watch last night’s Parenthood (I have to prepare and hydrate for Parenthood because of all the thousands of tears.). I am feeling cozy and warm and nostalgic, which brought me back to the good old days. The days of Friday Listday. Shall we?

1. I feel like we need to start this post off the right way. My cousin Emily just posted this video on Facebook. The title is “Baby Bouncing” but the reality is 4,000 times better than that. Because it is actually a tiny monkey. In a snowsuit. Bouncing around. In the snow. He’s wearing a scarf. You. Are. Welcome.

2. So, Andrew owned a beautiful condo before we got married. Then when we got married he let me move into it. I have begun making a few “tweaks” to his decorating style. Andrew might interpret “tweaks” as a “completely unrecognizable home.” Potato/potato. (I pronounced both of those in my head as po-tay-to. So there.) Anyhoo, we’ve been doing some redecorating. We bought a dining room table the other day, but no chairs. Because who needs chairs? Except then we realized that we need chairs. So we started looking around, and why is a single dining room chair $200? Actually? Why? Me and my cheapness were not having it.

But then we experienced a festivus miracle. We had a couple days off and we decided to spend a night in Banff. It’s just we do, you guys. Off to the mountains for a spa day. (There was no spa.) Anyway, our hotel had just remodeled and they had a million dining room chairs in their parking garage. So we casually asked the hotel manager what they were going to do with all those chairs, whatever we don’t even care. He said we could take them for free!! Unfortunately, my SUV was already full, so we spent the next eighty years packing and unpacking and jerry-rigging chairs to the top of my car. FREE chairs!


Yay! I’m going to paint them and re-cover the seats. Which leads me to my next dilemma. There are a million fabrics out there and I want them all. I’m going for a mid-century modern look, and there are so many funky, fun prints. Here are a few examples…




Don’t even venture toward my Pinterest page. It is flooded with my indecision in various shades, colors and prints.

3. I have lots of videos today. Including this little gem.

4. Update: I watched Parenthood. I cried.

5. Our pastor has been preaching through the book of Deuteronomy and I am loving it. Why do I love the Old Testament so much? I just do, guys. It’s so beautiful. I’ve been blogging about each week because there’s some really cool stuff over in Deuteronomy. Check it out.

6. Umm, I have another video. I didn’t even know they were re-doing Cinderella until every single person on Facebook began posting the trailer for the new Cinderella movie coming out in March. So you’ve probably already seen it. But maybe you want to watch it again. I don’t know your life. Here it is. (Also, remember Gus in the cartoon Cinderella? I love him, but I hate mice. Very conflicting.)

7. Guys, I’m an immigrant now. Like actually. So that’s weird. We’ve been working on my permanent residency application — it’s so much paperwork, and it’s really hard to figure out. We have to provide tons of info on me, on Andrew and his job, and on our relationship history. We had to make a chart of every single visit we had while we were dating — the dates, the number of days we spent together and what we did. We have to provide all of our flight records and pictures. I have to send my fingerprints to the FBI and I have to get a physical. It’s a lot of work, but it’s obviously worth it.

But what I’ve been thinking about as an official immigrant is how hard it would be to go through this process if English weren’t my first language. In theory, I’m good at English. I make my career out of stringing together English words. But there are so many things on this application I don’t understand. I also would have such a hard time going through this process if Andrew and I didn’t have good jobs. In order for me to get a credit card and build my credit history in Canada, we had to put into a saving account the amount of money we want my credit limit at. So, it’s not even really a credit card, but it’s a way to build credit for me so that I can get a normal card in a couple of years. If I was an immigrant working a minimum wage job, it would be so hard for me to set aside a big chunk of money so that I could begin building credit in this country.

Anyway, through this process I am feeling way more empathy for immigrants. It’s a hard process and it would be tough to do without money or knowledge of the language. Which of course reminds me of Deuteronomy, which of course reminds me of how often God talks to the Israelites about loving the foreigner because they know what it was like to be a foreigner in Egypt.

OK, end of Listday! Have a wonderful weekend, friends! And Happy Wedding, Courtney!!!


Denise Ruth Morris Snyder

Updates from a Matron

October 24, 2014

Guess what I am supposed to be doing? (The answer is “not blogging.”) I should be writing a freelance lesson. But yesterday was my Jaci’s birthday and her one request was a new blog post, and I aim to please. (Also, I aim to procrastinate.)

You guys! Hi! Last time I wrote a blog post was more than two months ago! I’ve had a whole wedding since then. And moved. And bought a couch. I’m an old married woman now. A matron, if you will.

Umm, I would like to interrupt this post to show you something. I’m at a coffee shop, and the guy behind the counter keeps doing something back there with his leg. It just pokes out from behind this post and bounces around. When a customer comes in, he’ll go serve them, and then he comes right back here to do this. What do we think is going on? No one knows.


I guess I should give some updates because you’ve all been waiting on tenterhooks to know the daily details of my life. (No you haven’t.)

* Andrew and I love married life! Like, I love it so much more than I thought I would. I mean, I assumed I’d like it and everything, but it’s really just been the best. Something changed once we got married. I’m so much more comfortable and peaceful and content. It’s just really, really nice to know that Andrew is here for me no matter what, and vice versa. (I have a lot of married wisdom to offer because it’s been a whole two months, so I’m clearly an expert.) All that to say, I don’t regret or want to wish away the years that I was single, because those were really great times too, but I’m enjoying this new stage of life a lot. Also, when you are married, you have someone who will tell you that all of your decorations and clothes have flowers on them, even though you didn’t think of yourself as a flower person, but apparently you are.

If you are my Facebook friend or follow me on Instagram (denise_ruth) then you’ve seen enough of my wedding pictures to make you wish I had never discovered Pinterest. So, I won’t post any more here.

Except maybe just one.

Denise and Andrew Wedding (844)

* As I mentioned, it was Jaci’s birthday yesterday. And my mom just reminded me that it is my Grandma Betty’s birthday today. Betty Kay, hope you have a good day. (That was birthday poem, guys.) Jaci was a bridesmaid in our wedding, and I hadn’t seen her in literal years, so it was so fun to get to reconnect. She should move to Canada. So should all these other girls.


*I’m not counting that above picture as a wedding picture. It’s a friend picture. I’ll stop now.

* Leg update — he’s still at it.

* My friend Suzanne just wrote a book, you guys! So, if you are expecting a baby or know someone who is, you should definitely buy her book because she’s a great writer and has three little kids, so she knows what she’s talking about. She’s also doing a giveaway for a free iPad, so you should definitely enter!

I wanted to pin the giveaway on my Pinterest page, but I figured if I did that no one would read the text and they would assume that I’m preggers, which I’m not. And then I’d have to write a whole blog post about how I’m not preggers, but my friend wrote a good book, and I just wanted everyone to know about it, and how when I am preggers in the future our baby will be nameless because Andrew and I will not be able to agree on a name, so little “Buster Brown” (that’s what we’ll have to call him until we agree on a name) will grow up to be socially inept because his parents could never agree on what to call him, and we’ll have to write our own book about parenting and how not to do it, and how important it is to name your children, and it would’ve wasted a lot of time and space to have to write all that… Where were we? Oh yes, get Suzanne’s book. And enter the drawing.


* In other need-to-know news, I tried on this jacket today. Do I need it? (It looks better in person. And, also, what should we do with my hair? I don’t like it.)


* So Andrew and I are leading a small group, and we’re all reading through the New Testament together this fall. We’re using this Books of Bible, which is the New Testament without chapter and verse markings.


Andrew and I have been reading it aloud to each other, and it’s been amazing, for the following reasons: 1. It’s God’s Word, and therefore it is sweet. 2. This study encourages us to read the books of the New Testament in big chunks, like it was written. So, when we read one of Paul’s letters, we read the whole letter at once. It is how the original listeners would have read it, and we are noticing all kinds of new things. 3. Andrew and I are constantly thinking about and discussing the Bible together, which is so cool. 4. We have great discussion with our small group and learn a lot together. 5. This version of the Bible reads like a book, and it is cool to see the whole of God’s story this way. 6. God’s word is always useful and worth it. It shows us who He is — full of mercy and grace. Anyway, it’s great. Jesus is great. The end.

* Leg update — he was doing both legs at the same time for a minute. Fancy.

OK, I have to go. This lesson is calling my name. (Or a nap is calling my name. Who’s louder — that’s the question.)

Have a good weekend, friendsies!

Morris No More (ish)

July 25, 2014

GUYS. (I’m proud of that title.)

This is probably the last post I write as Denise Morris! Will you even recognize my writing once I’m a Snyder? (It’ll be the same, everyone. A lot of “you guys;” a lot of baby animal comments. A lot of whining. Perhaps I will suddenly mature as a married woman, but at the moment (while I literally look at a picture of a teacup piglet playing a guitar), it is feeling doubtful.)



Actually, I probably won’t legally change my name until we’re done with all of the permanent residency stuff, which should only take about 400 years.

So, next Thursday after work, Andrew and I will pack up the car with 600,000 ivory tablecloths and begin the drive down to Colorado! I’m so excited to see my friends and my mountains. We’ll be there the week before the wedding — and I’m sure everyone is excited to help me with all the tissue paper and crepe paper and other paper-type crafts. My Jilly Bean is coming in early, which is so good because I haven’t seen her since Christmas! Then Charles in Charge gets in and Andrew’s family and all of our other family, and all our besties, and having a wedding is really weird! All your peoples, all together.

Umm, have you guys been following along with Andrew’s “May the Best Man Win” best man competition on Facebook? So thrilling!!! If you’ve been reading, you’ve noticed Andrew’s great hashtag skills. It’s the main reason I’m marrying him. #hashtaglove #hashtagstud #ahashtagadaykeepsthedoctoraway

Last weekend we went to our friend Meghan’s beautiful wedding! It was the best. The ceremony was at their farm, and their backdrop was an old shed with lights and beads strung everywhere. I mean. So darling. And this barn.



They were beautiful and happy, and it was so fun to get to celebrate with them!! Also, Meghan is my style twin. I loved everything about everything she did for her decorations. #styletwins #stylesisters #stylesiblings #thatsenoughofthat

Have you guys read this article about what fakesters we are on Instagram? My friend Suzanne shared it with me, and it’s the best. Totes casual, drinking my coffee, early-morning sunlight. Whatevs, faker.

I mentioned awhile ago that I am re-reading Christopher J.H. Wright’s The Mission of God’s People. It is so good, you guys. We often tend to think about missions in terms of going to another country. We automatically turn to the book of Acts for advice on how to do missions. But this book makes the point that God has been on mission since the very beginning, since the first sin. God chose Abraham, and told him that His mission would be completed through his family. They would be a blessing to all families on earth. God invited Israel to a mission — to represent Him through the way they lived and followed His law. Their worship of Yahweh would draw other nations to Him. And, yes, God has always sent people as well: Joseph, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, us. God invites us into sharing His story–His gospel with others. And He empowers us to do it through His Holy Spirit. Anyway, it’s excellent. It looks at the whole of the Bible (and always starts with the Old Testament, which I love), and talks about the ways we can represent God on our mission to share His truth. So good. So readable. Get it now.

Umm, guys! This has been so fun! I’ve spent so much time wedding planning the last few weeks — ordering napkins and writing schedules, and making lists, and thinking of what needs to get done before we go. I actually kind of like all of the craziness, but also, it’s a lot. But I’m so excited. So excited. Excited to see family and friends. Excited to be in CO. Excited to relax the week after. But mostly excited to marry Andrew and spend time that day blessing the Lord for His awesomeness with our family and friends.

Let’s do this! #deniseanddrewido


Happy 4th, Americans!

July 4, 2014

OK, everyone.

I just watched a video of two baby elephants playing in the water in a blowup plastic pool and for some reason it made me want to blog.

So that’s where my mindset is as we go into this blog post. You’ve been warned.

HI! How is everybody? How is America? How is the 4th of July? They arrest you if you wear red, white and blue in Canada today. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Here are just a couple things I would like to tell you:

* Tuesday was Canada Day, which is basically the same as 4th of July! We had a day off work and I used it to watch Netflix like a true patriot.

* Guess where I went last weekend?!


The Gopher Hole Museum was just as I remembered it. Freakishly awesome.

* Yesterday was my mom’s birthday and she spent it shopping for wedding shoes. What a trooper. Thanks, Jilly.

* Today is my Jaci’s anniversary! Their star-spangled wedding was four years ago, and so much fun. Happy day, Josh and Jaci!

* Speaking of weddings, I am so excited to see my family and friends in August! But also, I need to know how many tablecloths I need to have. So if I invited you to the wedding, please RSVP or I will kill you. Joves!

* Andrew and I have maybe turned to a life of crime. Red Deer does that to a person.


Criminals love bow ties.

What else? Basically I work, and hang out with Andrew, and constantly update my wedding schedule on Google drive. I’m fun like that.

At work I have been re-reading Christopher Wright’s book, “The Mission of God’s People.” It is the best and I love it so much. It’s such a great look at mission — what it means, and how God has used the same methods to call His people to live out their mission as His representatives in the Old Testament, the New Testament, and today. Superb.

OK, this was short, but that elephant video is fading in my memory, so I’ve got to go watch it again.

Happy day, friends!