Monday, April 23, 2007

The Sound of Studying

Finals are upon us.

What does this mean? It means that all you may see on this blog for a couple weeks is the sound of silence. That in our burrow we are buried in books, papers, and lap-top computers. That we find sustenance in red hot potato chips, baby carrots, and caffeine, rather than sleep. That over the next two weeks, we will be more brilliant than over the last two months. That we hope we survive to see the summer.

Melodramatically yours,

Mrs. Miller

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Even More Supreme Court Review!!!

Lest the impression be left that Mrs. Miller is more attuned to Today's SCOTUS Action, I also want to weigh in.

Kennedy thinks he still likes Casey... but... he wants everyone to know that it is a "moderate" decision. Of course it wasn't actually very moderate, as Ginsburg strenuously points out.

Most interesting today is the silence from Roberts and Alito. My guess (endorsed by Mrs. Miller and her mother) says that they kept their powder dry because they want to overturn Roe-Casey. They refused to be quotable today to prevent the next SCOTUS nomination fight from being even more explicitly about overturning Roe. I think they will keep mum until Kennedy can't write badly for a majority anymore. Then they'll take a case and kill Roe 6-3 with Roberts writing for the majority.

/rampant speculation

High Court Upholds Federal Ban on Partial-Birth Abortion!

Court divides 5-4. Justice Kennedy writes for the majority. You can read the opinion here.

The Majority upholds the law against attacks that the law is facially vague and poses an undue burden on a woman's "right to choose" because it is overbroad and does not contains an exception for the health of the women. The Majority says the law is neither vague nor overbroad but rather narrowly targets intact D&Es (i.e., late term partial birth abortions). The state's interest in promoting the dignity of life together with the availability of other late-term abortion procedures removes the need for a health exception.

Justice Thomas, joined by Justice Scalia, concurs and writes to make sure everyone knows he thinks the Court's abortion jurisprudence is unconstitutional.

Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, and Breyer, dissents. She harps on the law's lack of a health exception.

My take: the decision is a small, but important victory for the unborn, pro-life advocates, and judicial conservatives. The most important part of the decision is the blow at Casey's requirement of a health exception in abortion bans. I also like Kennedy's frequent deference to legislative findings and judgements.

Quotes from the Majority Opinion:

  • "The government may use its voice and its regulatory authority to show its profound respect for the life within the woman." 27
  • "Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child. The Act recognizes this reality as well. Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision. While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained. Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow." 28-29 (citations omitted)
  • "The law need not give abortion doctors unfettered choice in the course of their medical practice, nor should it elevate their status above other physicians in the medical community." 33
  • "The Court has in the past confirmed the validity of [Congress] drawing boundaries to prevent certain practices that extinguish life and are close to actions that are condemned." 28
  • "The Court.s precedents instruct that the Act can survive this facial attack [that some medical evidence shows that an intact D&E is safer than a regular D&E (baby is dismembered inside the women)]. The Court has given state and federal legislatures wide discretion to pass legislation in areas where there is medical and scientific uncertainty." 33

Culinary Chef d'oeuvre

Where can one go for a warm meal that satisfies the senses? Look no further than Paul Miller's Kitchen. This new Brooklyn eatery captures all that is great about the borough.

Nestled up against Park Slope just off thriving Fourth Avenue, the Kitchen provides an atmosphere of hip without being pretentious. The chef, who doubles as waiter and sommelier, pulls off both designer jeans and designer meals. We started with chips and a mixed green salad. Then, he served us a mouth-watering beef stew over pasta with Argentinian red wine. Closing off the meal was a crusty, warm apple pie smothered in pecan praline ice cream.

One very innovative ethos at the Kitchen is the chef's belief that conversation accompanies food. He provided good gab in the form of our City Church care group leaders, Claudio and Lulu. This handsome couple, who own the property, are partial backers of the place and add to its winning atmosphere.

Reservations at the Kitchen are hard to obtain, and seating is limited to six. The chef is a full-time blogger and only opens the place upon reservation.

The chef in action

Monday, April 16, 2007

Secret Ambition

Mr. Miller introduced me to this song yesterday, and I can't stop being moved by it (even in spite of Michael W. Smith's mullet). Praise be to the Lord for his secret ambition that began before time!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Part of Our Heritage

Mrs. Miller and I have been listening to one of our favorite, cutting-edge bands: 2nd Chapter of Acts.

What used to require a record player (which, as Mrs. Miller recalled played "big, black things"), is now part of our iPod collection, but other than that little has changed.

Both of us, as grandchildren of the Jesus Movement, have many fond memories of dancing around to Turkish Delight, The Roar of Love, and Which Way the Wind Blows and of straining to sing along with Matthew Ward's tenor parts on It is Well With My Soul, Fairest Lord Jesus, and Holy, Holy, Holy. (Alright, the straining sing-a-longs are mostly just me.) But here we are, in our hip-cool NY apartment, sharing the common culture of our parents and giving glory to the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Dennis, Christine, Tom, and Colene.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Wedding Photos 3

Aunt Tracy surprised me with a birthday gift of wedding photos!


On Wednesday, I turned twenty-six. For some reason, I dreaded this birthday a bit, maybe because I would no longer qualify as a "young-twenty-somethin." But the day passed without anxiety; any worry was over-shadowed by my extreme happiness with being married to Keith.

My husband had class all-day. As a result, we decided to observe my birthday on Thursday though, as it turned out, my birthday was a two-day affair. On Wednesday morning, I brunched with an old friend, Nicole Baird, who was in-town with a group from the school where she teaches in Pasadena, CA. Then, I walked through Times Square, made a return to Crate & Barrel, and headed to the subway stop to return to Brooklyn. Directly adjacent to the subway entrance, however, were H&M and Zara, forcing me to make a quick scouting run through both stores with hopes of returning the next day with Mr. Miller. Sprinkled throughout the day were sweet e-mails, facebook messages, phone calls, and e-cards from friends and family, including notification of membership to the Met from my parents and a tour of Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty from the Haupts. That night our caregroup sang me "Happy Birthday" and served cupcakes!

On Thursday, Mr. Miller surprised me with my fire tipped roses (my favorite) and both the New York Times and the New York Sun! We spent the morning sipping coffee, reading the newspaper, and discussing the stories. After a couple weeks of the liberal and often debauched pages of the Times, the New York Sun was refreshing. The first editorial began, "Being among the minority of Americans who take a favorable view of the job President Bush is doing . . . ." I'm also inclined to like the paper because the elegant and conservative Conrad Moffat Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour started it. Black is partially responsible for making Mark Steyn.

Later, we listened to King Felix dominate in Wednesday's Mariners game against the Boston Red Sox and worked on school assignments. That night, we opened my snail mail cards and feasted on:

Chicken Kiev
Steamed Green Beans
60 Minute Rolls

which was accompanied by
Cabernet Sauvignon

and concluded with
Decaf Coffee and Double Chocolate Cake
from Tazza, my favorite local cafe and bakery.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Virtual Tour of the Apartment

Here's our place sans decorative accent.

Over the next couple weeks, the vintage wallpaper, curtains, pillows, and picture frames are arriving. We'll keep you visually updated.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Fair and Fearless Megan

Congratulations are in order to my dear friend (and bridesmaid) Megan McGinnity, who recently earned the prestigious Truman Scholarship!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I met Megan almost ten years ago. She was the shy junior high daughter of my caregroup leaders. Since then, I have watched the Lord unfold his extraordinary though not always "wise-by-human-standards" plans for her life.

In addition to being brilliant, driven, and beautiful, Megan is also a humble servant of Christ. Her sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, her devotion to growing in her knowledge of God, and her efforts at incarnating theological truths in her daily life have challenged and encouraged me immeasurably. I can't want to see what else the Lord has in store for her in the coming years!


Yesterday the sky opened up and dumped on the City. As I told my cousin-by-marriage, Jen, I couldn't have been more thrilled; rain meant the debut of my galoshes!

We never wear galoshes in Arizona--mostly because it doesn't rain much but also because we walk from our homes, into our garaged cars, and drive to our destination's doorstep.

In Brooklyn, we walk everywhere. For example, yesterday I walked to the produce shop to purchase chives to make this dip for caregroup. Then, I tripped home (enjoying the puddles along the way) to bake Hayley's Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies and make chicken tortellini soup for Mr. Miller while listening to Norah Jones' New York City. That night, we walked two miles to caregroup. Gene Kelly and GK-remixed were on our minds...

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Passion Week Readings

The preacher on Sunday (the very gifted Toby Kurth) gave an usual Palm Sunday sermon. Instead of focusing on the triumphal entry, he focused on the verses just after it. Namely, John 12:27-36 where Jesus, in the face of certain death, evinces godly sorrow and contemplates the Father's glory and the formation of his church.

Toby handed out a sheet of Passion Week Daily Readings. Though I am unaccustomed to this sort of structured readings, the Word in this format has ministered to me this week. I include the readings below. If you are inclined to read them, may the Holy Spirit likewise stir your heart to thoughts of our Savior and our King.

Sunday - April 1
Entry into Jerusalem
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Mark 15:1-39

Monday - April 2
Second cleansing of the temple
Isaiah 42:1-9
Hebrews 11:39-12:3
John 12:1-11
Psalm 36:5-10

Tuesday - April 3
Last visit to the temple
Isaiah 49:1-6
I Corinthians 1:18-31
Matthew 24:1-14
Psalm 71:1-12

Wednesday - April 4
Christ resting at Bethany
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Hebrews 9:11-15, 24-28
John 13:21-35
Psalm 67:7-15, 22-23

Thursday - April 5
The Last Supper (Passover)
Exodus 12:1-14a
I Corinthians 11:23-32
John 13:1-15
Psalm 78:14-25

Good Friday - April 6
Christ is crucified
Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Hebrews 10:1-25
John 19:1-37
Psalm 22:1-21

Saturday - April 7
Christ is in the tomb
Job 14:1-14
I Peter 4:1-8
Matthew 27:57-66
Psalm 31:1-5

Easter Sunday - April 8
The Resurrection
Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
I Corinthians 15:1-11
John 20:1-18

Green at Home Decorating

I've been spending serious time surfing the web for home decor. Green is my favorite color, whether dressing myself or dressing the apartment, so I was delighted to discover that the green and white pillow is an "it" spring item. Here are some samples from Target, IKEA, and CB2:

Mr. Miller also pointed out that many of his sports teams' logos--like the Mariners, Seahawks, Sonics, and Liverpool--incorporate green. My husband has good taste. Go green!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Case of the Missing Half & Half

Mr. Miller and I like coffee. No, that is inaccurate. We adore coffee. Our coffee compatibility is such that we drink it first thing in the morning, reheated at lunch, and then switch to decaf in the late afternoon or evening.

We only part company when it comes to the way we like our coffee “fixed.” As a purist, Mr. Miller likes it black and thick as oil while I like mine mellowed by half & half, a preference which my husband graciously obliges.

The other afternoon, Mr. Miller went to prepare our first cups of decaf that day but was unable to locate the half & half. He scoured every cranny of the refrigerator. Then, he looked in the freezer and cabinets. Nothing. Puzzled, I conducted a parallel search. Again, nothing.

Though lawyers we be, detectives we are not.

The following day when Mr. Miller went to reheat his morning coffee, he discovered the half & half in the microwave where he had left it after reheating it (instead of my coffee) the previous morning. What remained in that little carton was fit for science but not for sipping!