Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful Boy"

Dear Zion,

     Happy Birthday my big three year old boy!  I can't believe it has been three whole years since I first laid eyes on your handsome little face.
     I looked back over the photos we took of you throughout this past year and was reminded of how very grateful I am for your life.  You came into this world "fighting" and strong.  You have proved every day of your life so far that you will live up to the very large and strong name that we gave you.
     You my son are the definition of a "strong willed child."  This photo shows one of your first timeouts. You were so determined not to sit down or stand on your timeout matt.  For over an hour and a half you refused to do so.  You got so tired that you began to fall asleep standing up!  Yes, my "little soldier", you are a force to be reckoned with!  However, as the year has progressed so has your compliance.  We have grown as parents in the area of discipline and you have learned to "choose your battles" a little more wisely.
As challenging as you are at times, I could not be more grateful for your strength and resolve.  I truly believe it will be one of your greatest strengths someday.  But for now, I believe that stop sign and you will have quite a few more bonding moments in your future.

     One of your most favorite people in the whole wide world is your big sister Lily.  You both have developed such a deep love for one another.  However, as you have gotten older this year you have grown much more able to get into your sisters business.  This has come with a price and it's not uncommon to have full blown "sibling rivalry" moments scattered throughout our day.  After the dust settles and kisses, hugs and apologies are dulled out you both return to being each others biggest fans.

     You are also a "Daddy's boy" through and through!  You absolutely LOVE your Dad and enjoy spending time working at your "workbench" creating things together. You look forward to your "Daddy days" (the days mommy goes to work) every week.  One of your favorite places to be is "cuddling" with your Daddy.

One of your biggest accomplishments this year is that you are fully potty trained!  It took much longer, 6 months to be exact, but success was finally yours!!!  You are so proud of yourself and love that you finally get to wear "big boy chonnies" all the time!  Mommy and Daddy are super excited to have the $80 bucks back in the monthly budget as well!

Some more fun and "firsts"....
You and "your Rah Rah"

"You so Crae Crae" (Thanks Rox)

 Our Mighty Dragon Slayer

Can you "wink like an owl hiding in a tree?" (a line from one of your favorite books)

You are so "Rock n Roll"

 You love to fly kites

 You love your BFF "Grady"
 Such a handsome little man!
 Our little "structural engineer"
 You loves you some "Nuffins"...AKA doughnuts
First time eating cotton candy! You weren't sure at first and actually threw it on the ground!
First trip to Disneyland

You had an amazing time and were such a trooper!
First time putting the star on the tree!

Always making us laugh!

     It is hard to to explain my deep love for you my son.  There are moments when I am so overwhelmed by this love it literally takes my breath away. Moments like when we are cuddling in bed on a slow Saturday morning.  I pull you close, so close that I can feel your heartbeat and smell your sweet stinky breath and I am overwhelmed by a love that I can only explain as intoxicating. 
    You are one of the most amazing gifts a mother could ask for and I am so very grateful God chose me to be your mommy.  Happy Third Birthday my "beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy!"
                                                                                 All my love,


Thursday, December 20, 2012

I thought we'd make it one more year...

Tonight as Lily and I snuggled in bed to read our Christmas books I looked over and saw tears welled up in her eyes.  "Mom", kids at school keep making fun of me because I still believe in Santa Claus."  "They keep saying that it's just my parents, IS THAT TRUE?"...

The moment had come.  The moment any parent that chooses to celebrate the tradition of Santa expects to eventually confront.  Mine was  tonight....and I am very sad:(

Last year she asked a couple leading questions, however, with some creativity we were able to pull it off for one more year.  Tonight I knew that was not going to be possible.  It was time...

I think my initial silence was enough.  I think in her "heart of hearts" she knew what was coming. Tears streamed down her beautiful round cheeks.  I got a book out of our book basket that told the story of Saint Nicholas and read it to her.  As I read I also prayed that God would give me the words to explain it in a way that she could understand and that would comfort her in her disappointment.  He did and the conversation we had actually went far better than I had imagined it would.

It is unfortunate that it is only days before Christmas and that the conversation could not have waited just one more year.  But for whatever reason tonight was the night.

Even as I write this I am struck by the overwhelming sense of gratitude.  As sad as that conversation was to have I am grateful for each day and each conversation I am given with my Lily girl.  My heart aches for the parents, families and children in Connecticut  that are having very different and much more difficult conversations during this holiday season.

So I will choose to remember and cherish our conversation tonight as a gift.  Another day with my precious children, another Christmas to celebrate together as a family.  God is so good and I am grateful.
 Lily at Disneyland with Santa just a few days ago!

Monday, December 10, 2012

I wish you had met them.

Dear Daddy,

     As I sit here reflecting on this day, ten years since your passing.  I am a range of emotion. Being at the Lake yesterday stirred up some pretty amazing and precious memories for me.  I will never take for granted that I was blessed with the opportunity to come along at a much different, more tolerant, patient and somewhat tenderized season of your Fatherhood.  Although, it is a very long time since I have baited a hook or cast a line, I will cherish forever the memories of spending this time with you.
    As I watched my two beautiful children play along the shore yesterday I realized that although being the "baby" of the family had so many advantages, it came with one significant disadvantage.  You never had the chance to meet two of the most incredible people I have ever Lily and Zion.  I can't help but see how you would fall madly and deeply in love with these two.  I think you would see a whole lot of me in our Lily girl.  I guarantee she would be right there with you in that boat baiting your hook with night crawlers.  Our girl is not afraid to get a little worm guts on her.  She has the most tender and loving soul. Her heart and compassion for others is something I know you would admire.  I also know you would appreciate her bright mind and would love to hear of the many exciting and interesting facts she is always sharing.  Being someone who appreciated a good laugh, I know you would enjoy her vast array of "knock knock" jokes!
    Zion would be your gardening buddy.  I can just visualize him following you around the backyard watering just like the other Grandkids used to. He would also be the one hanging out in the garage with you. You would love to watch him Dad!  He loves to "tinker" just like you did. He will spend huge chunks of time working on projects at his workbench.  He bends and balances things until they are just so and them steps back with his hands on his hips and inspects them to make sure they are just right.  You would so appreciate his attention to detail.  He even throws mini fits just like you would when things don't go just right.  I'm am however grateful your talent and gift for expletives don't accompany his tantrums:)
     I am also very sad you didn't have more of a chance to get to know my Jeremy.  I know that in the time God gave you both you developed a quick and special bond.  I think you would be so proud of what he has accomplished.  I know he deeply loved and respected you and I am very grateful you were able to know him for the brief time you did.  You would especially appreciate the fact that he is most comfortable wearing your much beloved "Bibs" and they are a regular part of his wardrobe now.
      I have no idea how things work up there in Heaven.  Maybe you do know all these things and that would be pretty cool.  I can honestly say as we were leaving the Lake yesterday and I looked up in the sky and saw that Hawk circling above us, it definitely made me wonder.  Regardless of how it works here on earth I take such comfort in knowing that we will all be reunited with you someday in the presence of our Lord and oh what a celebration that will be.
                                                                                    All My Love,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The "Situation Changer"

     I haven't written a blog in over a year.  I have been looking for something to inspire my writing and something today did the trick.
     Our daughter Lily has always been very strong willed.  Over the last two years, since her brothers arrival, her strong willed personality has ramped up to "super charge."  She literally challenges our every request..."but mom...," "I was just...", "It's not...".  There is rarely a time when we ask her to do something that she does not have some sort of response other than "yes Mom or yes Dad."  If you are a parent and have experienced this yourself you can relate to the exhausting nature of these verbal interactions.  Why doesn't she just do what I asked the very first time with no arguing or complaining?
     This morning I read a particularly inspiring devotional that encouraged me to have no more "Unglued Mamma mornings."  You know those mornings where you are rushed, frazzled and your children seem to be in slow motion.  Those mornings that bring out the very best in you as a parent and person ;)  I am ALL to familiar with those mornings and have been having way to many of them as of late.
      As a mother there is the all too familiar and powerful emotion known as "mother's guilt."  I have also been experiencing more than my share of it lately, in regards to my relationship with my daughter.  I so desire to do right by her.  More often than not I end up defeated having those "what have I done wrong" thoughts overcome my mind.  Today, even after my encouraging devotional and my attempts at not having an "unglued mamma morning", I still left the house frustrated and disappointed in how both my daughter and I handled the morning.
     We joined my sister-in-law and her kids at our local "cement slide park" for a picnic.  We enjoyed a good couple hours that unfortunately ended on a pretty dramatic note.  A young man playing baseball with his brother and friends was struck in the head with a hardball and lost consciousness. We ended up calling 911 and assisting the boy while we waited for the paramedics to arrive.  I do believe he will be ok but with my background in trauma nursing and the divot in his forehead I knew we should "air on the side of caution."
     The young man was taken away and we packed up our stuff and headed for our cars.  As we were walking my daughter said to me, "Mom, as soon as we get in the car I think we should pray for that boy."  "You, are absolutely right, my love", was my response.  And boy, did she.....  We got into that car and my daughter prayed the most beautiful, eloquent and mature prayer I have ever heard come out of her mouth.  It literally took my breath away.
     On the drive home I was overwhelmed by the power of the Grace of God that I have not experienced in a very long time.  As a mother, I may have failed in many areas, but God very clearly showed me in that moment, that one thing I have done right is pray FOR, WITH & AROUND my daughter.  Lily, even at 8 years old, clearly demonstrated that she believes in the power of prayer as something that can change a situation!  I was so proud of her and so humbled all at the same time.
     So will I have more "unglued mamma mornings?"...Absolutely!!!  However I will now remember this day when my daughter taught me to go straight to the SOURCE and directly to the "situation changer", Himself!