Rachel's Brain Brings Home The Bacon

This being her last year of residency, Rachel has completed her research project, "The Implementation of Standardized Treatment of Patients with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus." It reads like a John Grisham novel, I assure you.

Now we all know that Rachel is a smart one. Or as we say in our house, according to the Wooster fashion, "she eats a lot of fish" (now that she's not pregnant). Yet this world in which we live is not always one that rewards such brilliance.
So we were extra delighted when she beat all other contenders at her home hospital for her research project, and an extra little check made its way to our burgeoning family. This success also made her the hospital's candidate for the regional research presentations and competition.
So, last week, we headed out to Rochester Hills, a northern Detroitland suburb, to a place called Meadowood Hall. We had no idea a place like this existed in our general area. It was built in the 1920's by the widow of John Dodge (of auto fame), after the style of various historical British manor homes. It was absolutely idyllic, and after sitting in a gazebo in some perfect weather for awhile, Rachel went into her conference, and Maggie and I walked around the grounds for a bit (well, she didn't actually walk), and found a pint-sized building, that was a gift to the Dodge's 12-year old daughter. A fully functioning house to teach her how to run a household. Then we joined in for Rachel's presentation, where she wowed the crowd, and Maggie behaved perfectly and earned many adoring fans. After another monetary prize, we headed home, but thought we would share the sites with you all.


"Early in life, she takes to the papasan."


10,000 Visits

We're almost there, so take a glance at the counter on the left sidebar, and let us know if you're the 10,000th visit to our blog!



Yesterday, we applied for Maggie's passport. We needed to get it as soon as we had a Social Security Number, to give ourselves as much time to procure her Kenyan visa, as the timing on these things can be unexpected.

We weren't sure how this application would work, but it's the same for anyone under 16 years old. Thus, she needed a passport photo, 2x2, eyes open, white background, the whole bit. Despite the fact, that when she's five years old, and still has this passport, she's going to look just a little different.

So we laid her down on a white bed sheet, a couple nights ago, when her eyes were wide open, and did a paparazzi number on her. Which photo did we choose? What do you think?

More events in the Life of Maggie

Last week, I got to take a special trip up to Bay City, MI, to meet my great-grandparents Selle. It was cool, because I am the first member of the fourth generation there!

Yesterday, since my cord finally fell off, I got to take my first non-sponge bath. In the kitchen sink! I loved the soaking part, but I must say I still have mixed feelings about the whole washing part of the bath...


Lullaby for Maggie

Embedding this video is turning out to be complicated. The YouTube link is here.


The Gifting Giver

Here I am again, the beneficiary of the Gifting Giver. Just when another veneer is pulled back to show me again a little more of how I don’t deserve any of the goodness in my life, a new cry is heard, and a beautiful little girl floods into my life.

She sleeps. She looks around. She flails her arms awkwardly. She even smiles a bit. And we dream of the years ahead that we pray the Gifting Giver will allow. How can I respond to this joy? I cannot be one of the nine lepers who never returned to give thanks. A lifetime down on my face in gratitude would not be sufficient. Yet the gift is good, and it is to be enjoyed, to be lived.

Are these ideas in tension with each other? To enjoy the gift, do we need to stand and turn away, in some sense, from the Giver? If this is the right path, then this tension is likely a fabrication. There must be a posture of the heart that enjoys the gifts, to God. And this enjoyment is then the most perfect expression of gratitude to the Gifting Giver. How do I discover it? I don’t know, but there’s a whisper that hovers around the whole idea, suggesting that it is found indirectly. You see it best when you don’t look straight at it. Maybe the life that strives to glorify God will wake up some morning, having come upon this elusive synthesis, but never stopping to wonder when or from whence it came.

Two More Cute Photos

Because although baby clothes can be very cute, lack of baby clothes can be even cuter.

This one is just cute because of the hands (and everything else).


Happy 1 Week Birthday

This morning, at 8:28 AM, little Maggie turned 1 week old. She's been doing great, and has had quite a week. She went and saw her Dr. Jean Wong at the Packard Clinic on Wednesday, who gave her a full bill of health, and her weight was maintained from her hospital discharge. Way to go! We've had awesome meals from the Lelands, Wilkinsons, and Stracks, and we couldn't be more overwhelmed with hospitality lavished on us. Maggie's been sleeping better than we could have expected (not perfect, but still...), and yesterday, she got her 2nd bath, which was her first at home. Don't let the picture fool you. It wasn't all cute looks and cooing.

Our good friend Eunice came over yesterday to meet her, and she took this picture, our 2nd family portrait. Notice the absence of severe sleep deprivation eye rings on either parent.

And this morning, she got dressed up in an outift from her Grammy (Eric's mom), proclaiming to the world that she loves her daddy.


Jason (sans hockey mask) et al

A few weeks ago, a tree in our backyard began it's slow funeral descent - right onto a telephone line. Thus, it had to be dealt with. It took a while to locate a chainsaw. Having been in medical circles during my tenure in southeast Michigan, I've made a lot of great friends, but of the wrong sort if you're looking for a chainsaw. Finally, I happened to ask my friend Rusty Chavey, who lives in the woods and hails from Texas, and despite being a doctor, he had a chainsaw we could use.

So I called up Jason Fader and Dan Rocke, two individuals always up for some faux-masculine activity, and we set to work. I asked Jason how comfortable he was with a chainsaw. "Quite comfortable," he said, "more comfortable than Heather is with me using a chainsaw." And he proved his mettle. Between the three of us, one chainsaw, and a host of less powerful tools, the tree (and a few other branches that we decided were in the way, once we really got going) was dealt with speedily. And no one was injured (except the tree, R.I.P.). I'm now thinking of starting a medical therapeutics trial where men with low testosterone levels are treated by taking a chainsaw to a huge pile of logs.


A Day in the Life of Maggie

This morning I awoke to a strange new world, filled with sounds, tastes, and sights. It's pretty scary, but I'm getting used to it.
I like this eating business, much tastier than the ole' umbilical cord.

Then my mommy and daddy took me on a walk, and I've decided I like this whole outside-sunshine thing.

But then I definitely needed a nap.

Later my parents took me to Washtenaw Dairy, where it was decisively proven that my head is larger than a single scoop (though likely not a double scoop).

My mommy read me my first Dr. Seuss story, which I really liked.

But all this really wore me out, so I'll tell you more later.


Maggie Elizabeth McLaughlin

Our precious little daughter was born, healthy as a chunker with an impressive set of lungs but still a capacity for sleep, this morning at 8:28 a.m. Rachel did phenomenal, and can now identify with her future Kenyan patients, who also endure long labors with no anesthesia. Maggie is bigger than either of us expected, at 8lb, 11oz, so she's doomed to obesity like her parents. Healthy all the way through, the significance of what has occurred today in our lives intermittently is lost on me, and then causes me to stagger with the weight of joy and grace God has given us. Maggie, welcome to this world that God our Father has made. And welcome to our family.

"Nobody tells you when you get born here, how much you'll come to love it and how you'll never belong here." - Rich Mullins (1955-1997)