Thursday, July 26, 2012

on producing fruit

 something is growing, and we are pretty sure they are limes. the thing about growth though, is that you never really know what is growing until you cut into it and taste it. these appear as limes and so we are assuming our lime tree is producing fruit. 

matt has been fasting for 11 days now. it started with a week long water cleanse. for seven days he only drank water with fresh lemon juice and grade b maple syrup. most of the time he was in a kind of brain haze. delirious from lack of food. i drove him around fearing that he would blank out while he was driving. let's just say he was cleansed after a week. after that he and his friend moved on to something called the daniel fast. he has been doing that for 5 days now. i have been cooking a more intense version of a vegan diet for him. vegetables, fruits, oils, whole grains...NO sweeteners of any kind, leavening agents and no meat or dairy products.  

whenever a person commits themselves to seeking a closer experience with God i think the attacks come on 100 fold. and that has been happening for him. he is discouraged about the school year, he is tired and exhausted from no vacation, he doesn't see the effects of teaching and he is wondering what the point of investing in kids who seem to not care is, he got some bad news about a student he really cares deeply for, he feels trapped by our debt, he feels alone, he thinks that he has to do it all by himself, his brain is deceiving him into believing lies; he is being tricked. the enemy is going to town on my love. and all i can do is stand back and pray, and wait, and hope, and speak truth and love to him, and remind him that his mind is cloudy, that the goal of a fast is to focus on God not all of the distractions that will come. it has been tough. 

he is looking for answers, i think. he is testing his fruit. he wants to know if he is on the right path. 
he is being attacked, he is hungry, he is foggy in the brain, and he is distracted, but he is seeking. 
he wants to know. 
he is learning what kind of tree he is. 


 just a cute moment of the littlest one, sitting and playing with her toys. she is over the exasaucer already. she doesn't want to be confined. 
 i made black bean burgers for dinner one night this week, and penelope loved them! 
i can't say the same for everyone else in the family, but with this little lady they were a hit. 

we taught her to breathe in and out of her nose really fast making sniffing noises. 
it is hilarious!


look at the wallpaper i found behind a hanging shelf in one of our bathrooms. 
it is red and hot pink and flocked!
i found myself wishing they would have left all of it up. 

pizza at the fountains

the day after my mom left spirits were pretty low. so after we dropped matt off at work, the four of us headed up to the west palm beach library and then to the fountains afterwards with a slice of pizza. it helped to lift our spirits and was a good distraction. 

at her level

penelope is on the move. sometimes i put her down and when i look for her a few minutes later she has found her way to another part of the house. i am realizing how terrible i am at cleaning! by mid morning her clothes look like a lint brush. that would actually make a funny halloween costume! anyway, our littlest one is crawling with gusto and loving her freedom.

quiet mornings

the other morning i couldn't find beatrix. i looked all over the house. 
i found her on her bed, reading. 

an iowa visitor

 my mom came to visit for a week and the kids had a blast with her. every night one of them would beg to get to sleep in grandma's room. and almost every morning i woke to the sound of quiet conversations or giggles. it was great having her here to help and just to hang out too. 

 they spent a few afternoons in the pool. 
grandma and micah were pretty competitive with each other. 

it was a great visit and just like the many visits before it went too quickly. 
we love you grandma!

on the move

turtle shell

beatrix on the potty, "mama! tu-tle shell!!"

Thursday, July 12, 2012

waking to life

the anniversary has come and gone and i have laid in bed thinking about writing the events for the last two nights. really, off and on through out this last weekend i have had beginnings of posts partially written in my mind. but as is the case whenever there is a baby in the house around the time of finn's week of remembrance i really don't have time to sit. to think. to be alone. to write. thus it falls to late nights, 1:30 in the morning to be exact, as the time in which i can record my thoughts. sporadic though they may be. 

last thursday night matt and i had a heated argument, err...discussion. i am sure it was because we both were feeling the imminence of the anniversary, but we both refused to acknowledge that the vehemence for our defense was due to this fact. so thursday night we had a discussion about boys, primarily their roll in a house that has a majority of females. micah has been asking for a pet for a couple of years now. namely, a pet snake. i have been loudly opposed to the notion of having a reptile in our home. we were debating the snake and matt stopped mid-argument to ask me if this was in fact the real issue. i had to admit that it wasn't. it had bothered me that a couple of days before micah had made the comment while we were at a friend's house that he was the only boy in our family. he was lamenting that he would never have a brother. when i admitted to matt that this comment from him had stuck with me, matt asked me why. i told him, through tears, because he had a brother. never mind the ridiculously long discussion that could take place debating whether or not micah would even exist if finn hadn't of died, but i was just stuck on the fact that he did have a brother and i was sad for micah that he will never have that. after we talked about that some more matt said something that i hope i never forget, he told me that i needed to create a space for micah in our mostly female home. one that he felt comfortable in to be a boy. all boy. even if that means having some things in our home that i wouldn't normally enjoy. i went to bed that night thinking about what he said for a long time.  

when i woke up the next morning i knew exactly how i wanted to spend finn's birthday this year. carving out a space for the son who lives and breaths in our home. it may sound strange. in fact i had a really hard time verbalizing to matt why i wanted to do this, but i knew deep down that i needed to do it for me. for us. friday i spent the morning getting paint and finding fabric. i had already asked micah what color he wanted to paint his room a few months earlier and he had described, in detail, how he wanted it to look. he really wanted a sun some where on the wall too. friday evening i found myself alone with micah and i told him that finn's birthday was the next day, he nodded and i went on to say that if mommy and daddy seemed sad that was why and that he could ask us anything if he had any questions. he hugged me and went on his way.

saturday morning, we woke to sunshine. matt gave me a kiss and a hug. we didn't need to say anything more.  later that morning we started stripping micah's room and matt started painting it. 

we found having a project to do on his birthday helpful. matt especially enjoyed the time to think and remember while he was doing something. i always find his birthday and the week following difficult when there is a baby in the house. i find myself wanting to sneak away, disappear during those few days. most years, i want to curl up in a ball with my journal and the few pictures we have of those days and re-live it all. but, when i don't have time to do that it feels long ago. this year especially felt like that. he would have been 8 this year. eight. i feel like it should be longer, like it happened a lifetime ago. like it happened to two totally different people. 
that lydia doesn't exist any more. 
sunday while everyone was napping i worked on the sun and listened to song after song with words that talked about love. God's love. God's love for me. it was good and hard...and sad and good. occasionally while i was painting i would get a flash. a flash back to what i had been doing at that exact moment 8 years previously. i thought about it during church earlier that morning too as the tears made a steady stream down my face. i remembered the day before he died and exactly what i had been doing. we were at the hospital early. i had been up most of the night writing in his baby book. i wanted to record his birth story. i knew that i needed to do it. don't ask me why. i just knew. i wrote in it as if i was writing it to him some day in the future. i wrote it like he would read it to his wife or his kids. ...later that day we got the results from his ekg. they told us he had no viable brain waves and i lost it. i mean i blanked out. i sobbed on the floor of that hospital and finally when i was spent i curled up into a little ball and my mom held my head in her lap and i guess i laid there for two hours.... while i was sitting in church last sunday morning, i looked around our church. our pastor had said that it had been a hard week for our church family. there had been several deaths...and i knew he was thinking of matt and i too. i started to wonder where the people were who loved those that had just died. i knew the daughter of one of the ladies was sitting just in front of me. i wondered why she wasn't sobbing. then i started to wonder what would the church do if i started to wail. wail like i did in that hospital 8 years previous. wail like i kind of wanted to do at that moment. what would they do? i mean really? sometimes, i think church is a little too clean. a little too put together.... 
but, i guess that is a tangent for another day. 

so sunday, i worked on micah's sun. 
it was healing. it was helpful. it was hard. 
thankfully everyone slept until i was finished. 
micah loved his new room. i love it too. i walk by it everyday and grin. it makes me happy. i will always remember the weekend we did it. 

we lit his candle on the seventh. the eighth. the ninth. and the tenth. 
it's good to remember. even if every year remembering looks different. 
this year i didn't have alot of time to think about it all on my own. but someday i will.
someday i will have nothing but time to think about it. 
but this year....this year we woke up to a bed full of life. i mean overflowing with life.
monday, the morning of the tenth, we woke to all the kids in our bed. 
...and once again i got a flash of that morning 8 years ago. the morning matt and i woke to death. we had been told he would only hang on for an hour or two. but he fought all night and around 6 when we were all exhausted, we fell asleep and when we woke two hours later, he was gone. we woke up to death. 
this year, on the 8th anniversary, we woke up to life. and i was struck with the strangeness of time. the difference 8 years makes on pain. how different i am 8 years later. how different matt is. i wrote "waking to life" on the wall of our bathroom. i don't want to forget it. i don't want to take it for granted. every day we wake up to life is a gift. a gift. and waking up to death taught me this. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

the 4th

the morning of the forth the kids helped matt wash the car. they all came in hungry just as i had warmed some food up for penelope. beatrix and micah were grumpy hungry and so i took a chance and stopped feeding penelope to fix them something quick. by the time i finished their lunches and got back to the table, pips had fallen asleep. i love this picture because bea is a blur of busy, matt is walking around in the background, micah is never in his chair when he should be, and through it all penelope is sawing logs. 

 later that evening, after nice long naps, we headed to a bbq at a couple's house from church. it was alot of fun with swimming for the kids and lots of really great food. 

 penelope actually fell asleep and let me lay her in one of the bedrooms.
it was a nice break to sit outside and just watch micah and beatrix swim.
 after dinner we all walked to the beach to watch fireworks. it was quite the walk! pips only stayed in the stroller for a couple of blocks and then she wanted OUT! it was ridiculously hot too. 

by the time we got to the beach, penelope was beside herself. i couldn't do anything to get her to stop crying. i walked up and down the boardwalk during the fireworks trying to get her to fall asleep. finally, i was so frustrated i sat down in the grass behind everyone watching the fireworks display and nursed her. i didn't even know matt was taking pictures of me until the 3rd or 4th picture. 
the walk back seemed to go alittle quicker which was nice, but by the time we got back to our car matt and i were drenched in sweat. we loaded the kids up and within 5 minutes they were all sound asleep.  

saturday at the beach

last saturday we made our way to a new beach in delray with some friends of ours. it was a very hot day already at 10:30 when we got there. it was the perfect beach for the kids. you could walk out far into the water, there were hardly any waves and there was a sand bar so we didn't have to worry about bea getting swept out to sea.

 micah found this red sea sponge while he was snorkeling. he was pretty excited about it. we didn't know what it was until we got home and matt looked it up. that boy sure does love all things to do with the sea. he says he wants to be a marine biologist and i wouldn't be at all surprised if that is what he really does grow up to do. beatrix says she wants to be a pilot. 

as you can see from the picture below, penelope and i are pretty peach. but after staying at the beach for three hours and forgetting to apply our sun screen again, 
the whole family looked like lobsters by the time we got home.