Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

And because there always has to be an out take ...

Abigail was trying to take the picture of just my Tommy and me when the other kiddos bombarded us.

Monday, October 26, 2009


We've all been there. Busy, busy with a project leading up to a special day. I can remember many tech weeks where I ate, drank, and breathed whatever show I was working on. I would fall exhaustedly into bed, every muscle in my body rebelliing, only to wake up a few short hours later to start all over again. My dreams weren't really dreams, but thoughts about what we had to do next and reviewing what we had already done. Then. The day would arrive. The day that I would awake by no prompting other than the excitement buzzing through me. My eyes would fly open, my brain would try to catch up with my heart and figure out just what the specialness of the day was. Then in an instant, I would remember. It's opening day! The day when all of our labor, heart, and time would be shared with others.

I can also remember many nights working on a child's birthday preperations and cake until 3 am, only to be awakened by my own excitement three hours later. A special day. A day to rejoice in the birth of one of my children!

I'm sure you all have those memories. Perhaps a special trip, a get together with special friends from time gone by, or a date with your husband. Today, I had an awakening such as that. My eyes flew open, my heart pulled me out of bed, though my body was still confused. My mind searched and searched, what is special about today? There is something special about the day ... WHAT is it?

Then it came to me in a rush. Today, I get to be a mother. I get to be a mother to my children! How awesome is that? They only have one mother, and that is me. There is only one me, and I am it. I am their mother. I am blessed beyond measure and need to live my life to reflect that.

We've been under personal attack lately and my focus has slipped at times. Last night when I was putting the kids to bed I realized how much of me I was holding from them. My worries, my pain, my thoughts all occupied my time when I should have been giving all of that to God, giving all of me to Him. When I give all of me to Him, He directs me to them. My children had been missing out. I resolved right then that I would be my children's mother today. I stayed up late last night finishing up some chores so that I could start our day as stress free as possible.

I woke up this morning excited because today, I get to be a mother. There is no job like it. No, not one. We, as mothers, have the responsibilty of shaping little lives into extraordinary people. There are no do-overs in raising children. Every minute of every day counts toward something. What will your day count towards?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ten Years!! We have been married for ten years! I can hardly believe it. It's been a wonderful journey, sure we've had our share of trials, but we've suffered them together. I have to say that we have been blessed way more than we have been tried!

After church, we took the kids to my mom's house where she fed them lunch and they played all sorts of wonderful games with my mom, brother, and soon to be sister in law while we went out on a little date.

We went to one of our favorite seafood places on the Potomac. The changing leaves across the beautiful glistening water is something I have always loved. My Tommy spoiled me with shrimp, crab melts, hush puppies, grapes, and in house chips. After we ate we took a tiny walk down their pier and laughed about the time that we went there with my Mom and her husband on their boat for dinner and ended up having to tow another boat across the way to Virginia.

Then we went to Chapel Point Park, which is really nothing but a ton of woods backed up to the Potomac, offering ten feet of sandy shelly. rocky land to walk and fish. We took a walk along the river edge and sat on a downed tree (that once was gigantic in the sky, now is being turned into a beautiful piece of driftwood) and talked and sang for a while.

Then we went back to my Mom's and enjoyed the evening with the kiddos, my mom, my brother and my soon to be sister in law. We let the kiddos fall asleep and are staying the night here.

I forgot how much I love being able to look out the window whenever I want and see the glistening water. It's been a great day.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Whispered Birthday

Our Anna would have been four today. I've been an emotional wreck all week leading up to it, it's almost as if my emotions are aware of the calendar even more than I am. Since the first anniversary of her due date we've had a whispered birthday party. I call it that because I am the only one that knows what the special dinner and cake are for ... the kids just think we are having cake for no reason, which is pretty cool to them.

Well, today we had to go to BJ's and I really didn't feel like it. I had Emily and Katherine in the cart (Emily doesn't usually ride, she's a big girl and walks, but at BJ's she loves that she can sit right next to Katherine.) and the bigger two were right beside me. I'd been crying all morning again and it was just tiring to put one foot in front of the other, I couldn't even think about facing other people.

In a moment of utter despair I just silently cried out to God and told Him that I needed a hug, I needed Him to hold me up long enough to get through the store. A few minutes later, both Katherine and Emily from their places in the cart, put their arms up and wrapped their four arms around my neck pulling me down to lay their heads on my shoulders. That was it. I knew that was my hug from God.

Those two bring such an amazing joy into my life, I can't imagine ever not having them and I thank God for them every day. I think Him for Abigail and Ian, too. It's just that even as I desperately wish I could know what Anna is like, I know that if I knew that, I would never have had the chance to know Emily and Katherine.

Four. I love four year old parties because the birthday child really knows what a birthday is by then. They are full of enthusiasm, and life.

I wonder, if Anna were here, what she would choose for her cake? A princess? Maybe a tea pot? Perhaps just pretty flowers. What would she have chosen for her birthday meal? It's these questions that have no answers that get me every time. What would her favorite color be? How am I supposed to plan a party for a four year old without knowing these things?

I still remember her first whispered birthday like it was yesterday. But it wasn't yesterday. It was October 16, 2006.

I've been dreading this day for weeks now. What would I do? How would I keep my hurt inside? I think the anticipation of the pain was more heartwrenching than the day itself.

I woke up this morning feeling like I didn't have enough to do. We had baked oatmeal for breakfast and carried on just like any normal day. I kept thinking of how busy I should be. I thought of the tasks I longed to be doing.

After lunch I decided that I would not pretend that it was a normal day any longer. The children and I made a delicious chocolate fudge cake. I set to prepare a nice dinner.

First birthdays are so fun! Though, this first birthday was a whispered one; only celebrated in my heart. My Anna didn't even make it to half her term of pregnancy, let alone a real day of birth on her due date. Who would ever imagine the lack of celebration would hurt still?

For all first birthdays I make two cakes. One for the well wishers and a tiny one just for the birthday child. This birthday cake was no different. I made a tiny heart saturated with whipping cream and embellished with red sprinkles to go atop the big cake. The family enjoyed the dinner and especially the wonderful treat of cake for "no reason".

I impressed myself when the tears stayed in check while I whispered a Happy Birthday to my Anna when cutting her cake. After the children were in bed I slipped outside for a walk in the cool night. I took her tiny heart cake with me. I walked down the street singing happy birthday over and over through tears that did not want to stay checked any longer.

I closed my eyes and pictured myself holding the cake for her to blow her candle out. At one point I glanced at the chocolate smudges on my fingers and thought of how that chocolate would have looked smeared all over a tiny little face. Oh, the desire to know what that face would have looked like! With a giggle and a smile she would squish her yummy discovery between her pudgy fingers, lifting those fingers to taste. Look at Momma squeal of delight would escape, a wriggle of excitement ...

The whispered birthday party was loud and joyful with my eyes closed. Then it was time to open my eyes. They opened to the stark reality that I was still holding a whole cake. An uneaten, unplayed with, unsmeared cake. What was I going to do with it? I didn't want to eat it. I didn't want anyone else to eat it. It was the birthday girl's cake.

It is now in my freezer. How long it will stay there, I have no clue. But that is where it is, and where it will stay for now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Paul, A Sword, My Fire Marshall and Apple Cider

Today was an absolutely beautiful day. The nice crisp breeze danced our curtains all about the house. It was an uneventful day, really. Just the normal things that make up a day. It is Monday, so laundry day. We finished all we needed to for school. For a day made up of ordinary, uneventful things this day offered a specialness to it. Almost as if the air that waltzed in and out of the screens held an invitation for whimsy.

I really don't know how else to explain it. So, that is all I will say about the specialness of our ordinary day.

This afternoon the chidlren were out front playing and somehow Ian's sword ended up on the roof. Doesn't everyone have a sword on their roof? Well, if not, I think they should. It has been quite the talk of the family ever since it happened.

Apple Cider. Oh, yum. Perhaps the whimsy was invited by the apple cider and not the breeze, after all?

While anticipating my Tommy returning home from work, I lit a few candles decorating the dinner table. There are a few more than usual in the center of our table, as Abigail and I put the pumpkin and leaf candles around the typical. After I lit them all, my own personal six year old fire marshall said, "Mom, do you think that there are too many too close together?"

I offered him the glance that says, "Thank you for your concern, son, but I'm the Momma. I wouldn't do anything to harm us."

After accepting my reassurance, Ian said, "I meant I love you. I always say the wrong thing, I really meant to say that I love you." Then he gave me one of his signature hang-on-to-the-neck-and-swing-like-a-monkey hugs that make you wonder if you will come out on the other side with your head still attached to your body.

Paul. Let's talk about Paul for just a moment. Tonight we left behind Samuel and started in on Ephiseans for family devotions. When he was done reading a bit, Tommy asked Abigail who Paul was.

Her response? "That guy that is in all of the other chapters." Why, yes, that is true dear, true indeed.