Thursday, June 21, 2012

in a black chair {a series of movement}

 the other morning i looked up and saw beatrix. i mean really saw her. she looked so beautiful and graceful in the morning light. my camera was close by and i sat there and just watched and waited. she kept moving all over the chair and every time she did, i snapped away. she looked so little in that black chair. 
i want to remember everything about her that morning. 
and then she moved to the couch. 

they are too much

i can barely handle it when these two are together in the bath. 
i hope they are the best of friends the rest of their lives.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

celebrating daddy

 i don't think i realized when i was a kid just how close mother's day and father's day are to each other. but now that we have kids who are interested in making these days special for us, it is important for matt and i to have our act together if we are going to make them special. with ease. sunday kind of snuck up on me. in my defense micah got the flu last week and penelope got two teeth. so needless to say i did not get cards to matt and my's fathers in time. in fact they finally made it into the mail today. whoops. all that said, i did as much prep saturday as i could so sunday morning, which is always a crazy morning anyway, would go easily. what i didn't bargain on, again, was how hard it is to get things finished with an infant in the house. 

saturday, penelope and i met a friend for breakfast and thrifting. a truly glorious way to start a saturday i might add! after we dropped her off, pips and i began our search for matt's gift. i stopped at a local garden center in hopes of cutting out traveling and to support a local business, but they did not have what i was looking for, so i called the number someone had given me that "knew a guy who could hook me up". it got even more fishy when i talked to the man on the phone and he said he was sitting on the side of the road with a whole truck full of goods. i finally found him after quite a drive and managed to squeeze the gift into our car and sneak it onto our property without matt spying it. i really didn't have to be so cautious because as it turns out i am married to someone who notices nothing. he even opened the trunk and placed target bags on a bag of top soil i had bought! 
never. even. saw. it. crazy! 
saturday night i prepped breakfast. sunday morning i got up early with the kids and told matt he had to stay in the bedroom while we were busy preparing the living room for the guest of honor. he asked for a cup of coffee, a cup of juice and his book so he could read while he waited. micah, beatrix and i got to work on our decorating and finishing of the cinnamon rolls, the BEST ever cinnamon rolls! recipe found here. at 9:00 we were ready for him. 
 the kids decided to hide. ???
 the kids and i each picked a color to cut out stars and then we wrote things about daddy that we loved. 

 after he read a few of them we took him into the florida room and surprised him with his gift...
 a lime tree!
my husband fancys himself a citrus fruit farmer. *wink wink*
 micah had hid his gifts for matt in the tree. before school was out the teacher had the kids make father's day presents. {those genius teachers!} and he and beatrix had painted him a couple of pictures. pips and i got daddy a card.
 we ate breakfast and went to church. a few of our friends visited church on father's day which was so great. matt had requested ham, and potatoes and gravy for lunch. i had gotten most of it ready so i just popped it into the oven while we were gone and lunch was ready after church. our friends stayed for lunch too. i made a lime pie in honor of the tree. see the continuity there? *grin* 
everyone took really long naps, even the adults and when we woke up matt had planted his tree. 

it was a wonderful day celebrating matt. he works so hard for our family and is also really good at playing with them too. i would say this age isn't necessarily his favorite, but he does an amazing job of making the kids feel seen and heard. they sure love being with him!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

making someone something to eat

"There is something quietly civilizing about sharing a meal with other people. The simple act of making someone something to eat, even a bowl of soup or a loaf of bread, has a many-layered meaning. It suggests an act of protection and caring, of generosity and intimacy. 
It is in itself a sign of respect." 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

they'll get stuck up there

me - i love when you roll your eyes at me micah, it's my favorite. but i would be careful if i were you. there once was a boy who rolled his eyes so many times at his mommy that his eyes got stuck up in his head.
micah - what?! that can't be true.
me - go and ask daddy.
micah - daddy, mommy said there once was a boy who rolled his eyes so many times at his mommy that they got stuck up in his head. is that true?
matt - i think i did hear about that boy.
micah - it can't be true.
matt - what if it is? what if it is true? i'd be careful, the next time you roll your eyes at your mother, they could get stuck up there.

a morning on the floor


i woke up on my birthday to the sound of a camera clicking. i opened my eyes and saw matt standing there. i    whispered, "what are you doing?" and he whispered back, "you both looked so snuggly and cute laying there together i had to take a picture." he took another one and whispered again, "why is it all blurry". i closed my eyes and tried to enjoy a few more minutes before the craziness of the day began. 
a few minutes later i got up and started breakfast for micah and matt who were leaving for their first day at camp. 
after they left and it was just the girls and i, beatrix and i talked about birthdays and how it was my birthday. bea ran into her room and came out carrying her two birthday hats she had saved from her birthday months before. 
i look ridiculous, but i don't even care. it was a special moment. 
later as i was sitting in the chair nursing penelope and talking to my dad who had called to wish me a happy birthday, beatrix came and stood next to me. she looked at me really strangely and then she grabbed her pony tail and turned around. i gasped loudly! she had cut her hair. i quickly hung up with my dad and put pips down on the floor and said, "no! beatrix what did you do?!" she dissolved into tears. i tried to reel myself in a little bit and gain some control of my emotions. i asked her to take me to the pile of hair. 
and there it was a pile of her hair...her wispy baby hairs. i wanted to bawl. like, a good ole ugly cry! but i didn't. i knew she was watching me. so instead i picked up the pile of hair, realistically assessed the situation,  she had cut off 4 inches or so very unevenly, which really wasn't that bad in the grand scheme of things, and i proceeded to even it out. i thought to myself that i was thankful her hair had been in a pony tail, i could only image the damage she would have done if it hadn't have been. 

 as i trimmed i asked myself in my head why i was really so sad about it. rationally i knew it was just hair, but irrationally it was the last remaining tie to baby beatrix. 
after i was finished and beatrix was standing there smiling at me i knew that here in front of me was a big girl. 
i knew it would become a story that would get told again and again. 
she cut her baby wisps off the day i turned 36. 

the dirty dozen

i look at the pictures of us on our wedding day and i think a few things...
- everything on us was so much smaller 
- our eyes look young and naive
- our smiles are genuine and unlined
mostly i think about how hard we had worked our whole relationship to be prepared. 
we were trying so hard to prepare for anything that may come our way. 
we. had. no. idea. 
i remember saying our vows that day and crying. it was the only time during the ceremony i cried. during the vows. i remember saying each and every single one and thinking this could happen to us. {for better for worse}...we will probably go through times where we don't like each other. {for richer, for poorer}...we will probably be poor. {in sickness and in health} of us could develop some kind of sickness. i remember being pretty realistic in my mind even on my wedding day that things weren't always going to be roses. and, well, they haven't been. there have been moves, many many moves. sometimes in the same city, once out of the country and then to a couple thousand miles away from family and friends. there has been sickness and days of health. there have, unfortunately, been no days of rich, unless you count the day after the tax return is deposited into our checking account. there have been many stressful days of being poor. there have been days of extreme joy, like our honeymoon in scotland, the day matt graduated from college, the night we drove into toronto, the birth of each of our beautiful children, or buying our first home together. but there have been days of such sadness i wondered if either of us would stand again...matt's depression after losing two jobs back to back, the loneliness i felt the first year we moved to florida, the year our marriage almost ended, beatrix's apraxia prognosis, the death of finn... events that could have destroyed us and the marriage we pledged our lives to. but with God's help, some amazing friends and family that have prayed for us, and our determination to stay committed to our vows we were able to celebrate 12 years of marriage this year. 12 years of waking up next to each other. some days we have woken to kisses and smiles from each other, and some days we have woken to silence and anger, 
but we have woken up to one another and that is what matters.  
i look at these pictures and i shake my head and laugh. 
i laugh at how blissfully happy we look. 
and then i think about how even when we were dating we had our "moments". 
musings to ourselves, wondering if we would last or not. 
 our anniversary this year was a relatively quiet one. they usually are when there is a new baby in the house. it's hard to get away, even for a little while. but saturday night there was a knock on our door at 11:45. ashlea came in and i started to chat with her. 5 minutes into it i asked her what had brought her over, matt came out of the office and told me that he had asked her to come over so we could go on a walk, 
the first hour of our anniversary, just the two of us. 
i got penelope to sleep again, prayed that she would stay asleep, changed into a sun dress and we went on a walk around our lake. 
at midnight. 
just us, hand in hand and it felt strange. 
strange to not have children to yell at, strange to not be holding a baby, strange to be holding hands. 
we walked and talked about the next 12 years and what they will look like. we laughed at how old our kids will be...and stopped laughing when we realized how old we will be. we talked about how the next 12 years are going to really change for me. we wondered what my next passion will look like, nursing? counseling? something i haven't yet even considered. we walked in the dark, we talked and held hands. it was nice. 
sunday morning after church i heard a knock on our door. i went to answer it and there were two little girls standing there with a clip board. i wondered what they were going to try to sell me. i asked them how i could help them and they asked me to sign for the delivery. i was confused and so i asked, "what delivery?" as i asked i looked up and saw their mother coming from the truck with flowers in her hand. i wondered aloud who they were from and she said "the card will tell you". as i shut the door, the card didn't have to tell me. i looked around the room at our children, two of them wrestling on the floor in their sunday best, one little one in daddy's arms waiting for me to feed her and a man who looked at me and smiled and said, 
"happy anniversary love". 
i may not have naive eyes any more, i may not have skinny anything, i may have a more lined smile, but we are here, together. and by the grace of God we have enjoyed a dirty, messy, wonderful dozen.

while he was gone...

quinn came to stay with us for a couple nights.
micah had his best friend spend the night. 
they are studying. in case you were wondering. haha
beatrix had her last day of the school year. 
what a difference from how she entered her first day just a few short months before. 
confidence to walk into the office and get the star pass by herself.
 confidence to walk into her classroom all on her own and hug her teachers.
 confidence to start her day by getting her breakfast out of her backpack and unstacking the chairs.

 i love that school has increased her confidence. 
her teachers truly loved on her and reinforced the star that she is.
 i love penelope's face as she looks at quinn. 
i was so thankful that quinn had spent the night. it was nice to have an adult around. mostly to just listen to me after the kids had gone to sleep. wednesday morning penelope decided to get her two bottom teeth and proceeded to cry for the next 24 hours as they pushed through her gums. it was one of the longest nights of my life. nothing i did seemed to ease her pain at all. we both passed out at about 5 in the morning. long enough to get a bit of a reprieve. 

 matt's ipad has remote access to our home computer. thursday evening i went into the office and turned the moniter on. a message from him was there and waiting for us. it brought tears to my eyes. it is good to miss each other once in awhile. it helps to remember how much you really do enjoy having them around.