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Archive for the ‘Ah…memories’ Category

He asked me if he could help him wrap his presents for his brother and sister.  My youngest, my baby, now 7.  He is no longer a baby.  But sometimes even he will admit that he still needs his mommy.

He was intent on finding little boxes in which to put the presents before we wrapped them.  Decorative duct tape and a Lil’ Webkinz are too recognizable wrapped on their own.  So we found little boxes, the one for the Webkinz with a little plastic window where the baby seal could look out to surprise his brother when he opened it.  We got the paper, cut it to size, and began taping.  He broke the cheap 99c tape dispenser, looked up with surprise.  “It’s not a big deal, Lukey.”  A moment of relief, then a refocus on the task at hand.  I held the paper for him while he got a piece of the Scotch tape and carefully placed it on a wrapping paper seam.  His hand, still so small, so beautiful, acting in a moment of love and joy for his brother and sister.  It touched my spirit in a way I just didn’t expect in that moment, and it’s still bringing peace to my heart.

His sister loved her duct tape, and his brother gave a big smile and a Jake sized-laugh when he saw the baby seal poking his little face out.  And it was beautiful.  And it was Christmas.

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Hey, hey, hey!!!!!  What?!  I know, right?

So, it’s only been almost a year since I’ve posted.  And why am I posting now?  Because WordPress reminded me that I was about to lose this here domain name.  I’ve had it too long to give it up, yet.

Over six years already.  Wow.  Remember that first post?  Yeah.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I’m more often, “mom,” now than Mommy.  Occasionally, but still.  I’m still not perfect (and neither are you 😉 ).

My almost one year old is now seven and a half.  Sheesh!

Let’s see….when I first started writing, I had two toddlers and I was about to start homeschooling the oldest, I think.  I hadn’t worked outside of the home for a few years.  Fast forward 6 years and I’m working full-time and going to school full-time, all second to familying full-time.  I don’t think it’s any less busy than having three little little ones in the house!

I’m amazed and humbled and dumbfounded and joyed and pained and exhilarated by the events of the last six years.  So, so much.

Six years doesn’t seem like a huge chunk of time, but it holds so much.  Six years is longer than many people have to live on this earth.  So I’m thankful for every failure, every success, every pain, every joy, every fear, every hope.  They are signs of a life.  My life.  I’m embracing it all.  I hope you are, too.

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“Mommy, in the summer we can use those water guns again!”  Luke spots the toys in the basement, where they hibernate through the long winter.

In his five year old reality, summer seems another lifetime away.  Outside, snowflakes are rapidly falling to the sidewalks.  He’s home from another grueling week of Kindergarten, already changed out of his uniform and into his jammies.  He sits at the table, sipping hot chocolate.  It’s a great day, because he gets marshmallows AND whipped cream.  Life doesn’t get much better.  In his eyes, these chilly days are far removed from the pool and suntanned days of summer.

For me, it will be like the blink of an eye until their little browned bodies are running barefoot through the grass.  Just a quick flip of the calendar, and we’ll be seeing swimming lessons and days dedicated to the splashpark  littering the schedule.    Boots will be packed away, and socks will be forgotten for a season.  Bring out the Crocs and the flip-flops and we’ll all be ready to go.

Mommy time is so much different than kid time.  I sometimes feel like their birthdays come around weekly, and the time between Christmases seems to be only a matter of a few months.  Everyone told us that their growing up would fly by; told us until we were about to lose our patience hearing it.  Really, how many times can you politely smile at the same inane statement?  We knew it would be true; we know it has been true.  And yet, the reality of it seems to almost defy the laws of chronology.

So, in what will feel like a breath to me, and a lifetime to him, my little boy will trade his snowsuit and gloves for swimtrunks and goggles.  We’ll have a spring, summer and fall full of new friends, new activities, and far too many photos than the kids will ever want to entertain.  And a year from now, with the snowflakes falling and the cocoa steaming, I’ll wonder again, “How in the world has another year gone by?”

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Lack of Creativity…

or time….or motivation….something…

Haven’t forgotten you all out here!!!  My brain’s just too tired to put “pen to paper,” so to speak, when I actually have the time to do it.  Thus, I’m posting a tagging of sorts.  Saw Gill’s post this morning and looked interesting, so decided to do it myself.

Sixth folder in your photos, sixth photo in your sixth folder.  Could I have made that sound more difficult?

Turns out, I only had 3 photos in my sixth folder.  Not sure why.  I think these folders were randomly thrown together.  So I just counted them twice.  Here’s the photo:

No kids section.

No kids section.

This photo was taken when Jack and I went to visit my Aunt Lynn and Patrick in South Carolina last April.  No kids.  Just a quick vacation with other adults.  This was how beautifully the table was set each night for dinner, lavishly adorned with the meal lovingly prepared by Chef Patou (Patrick).  Well, there was the one night when we had a picnic on the beach and saw dolphins swimming offshore, but this was our usual table. 🙂

I’ve never regretted having kids, ever.  But it is nice to get away and just be an adult once in a while.   A table set with beautiful crystal (ready to be filled with beautiful Kir Royales!!!), candlelight, and conversation uninterrupted by trips to the potty and fights over who wants which color bowl (maybe that’s why Lynn sticks with all black place settings? 😉 ), it’s something everyone should be treated with every once in a while.

Thanks, Lynn and Patrick, for a relaxing experience and great memories. 🙂

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Well, today is the last day that I’ll have a two year old. My baby turns three tomorrow. It’s crazy how quickly time flies. And if you’re looking for me tomorrow, I’ll be the one dancing up and down the street singing, “Hallelujah!”. 😛

As you may remember, two hasn’t always been easy in our house. And I’m not really sad to see it go. And really not for any other reason than it means we’re moving forward with our little family.

Two is quite amazing, actually. The changes that occur in that year are unbelievably phenomenal. From speech, to mobility, to they way they play, to the way they think, it’s just unimaginable. It seems that it would take an adult an entire lifetime to accomplish the changes that a child makes in just that year. And it’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.

But I don’t think I’ll miss it. I’ve had the joy (and struggle!) of being with all of my kids, day in and out, through all of their twos. And I think I’ve had my fill. 🙂

Now to get one more through the threes. Because, as well all know, three is much harder than two. All those fancy words that you thought it would be fun to teach your two year old? All of the attitude he’s been observing in his older sibs? All of the knock-knock jokes that he’s committed to memory? They all come to haunt you in the threes. 😛 And I’ll feel completely joyed at getting to experience the threes for one last time. (Remind me of this in a coupla months, will ya? 😉 )

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And Happy Birthday to Jackie!!!!!!! (I was gonna put a nice photo of her up here, but I think she’ll kill me no matter what photo I use. She should stop yawning when I go to take her picture so I have some options. 😛 )

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Late, I know, but nevertheless….

These were the Valentine’s Day waffles. You may not be able to tell, but the batter was pink (food coloring). I received this heart waffle maker from my Dad one of his last Christmases with us. He and mom both new that I wanted a waffle maker. He actually went out on his own and picked this one for me. Of course, mom got me the one I really wanted. But, I knew that I should keep the one that he got especially for me, and mom told me to as well.

Now I love it. Everytime I use it, it’s like a hug from my dad. And I get to tell the kids that we get these fun heart waffles because of Papa. And they think that’s pretty cool.

waffles2.jpg

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chief1.jpgTonight Last night marked the final presentation of Chief Illiniwek, the latest symbol to fall victim of the pc wave that is sweeping the nation.

I don’t get the point. Really. I know that there are symbols out there whose sole purpose is to make fun of and ridicule certain groups of people. I really don’t think this is one of them, you know? I grew up near the U of I and had the honor of seeing the performance of the Chief a few times at a few ball games. Our little high school band even hosted the U of I band when I was in Jr. High, and I do believe he came along. (Jack says he did. Kel? Do you remember?) Anyway, I never once viewed the Chief as being a symbol of mockery. I thought of him as a remembrance and sign of honor to the people who lived on the land before us. I thought of him as a reminder of our history, both the good and the bad. I always thought he was cool, and I can’t imagine the U of I without him.

No, I know, it’s not like someone really died. But I do think that removing him from the forefront of the university’s image will allow more people to gloss over the facts of the many Native Americans who DID live in, die on, or were forcibly removed from that land. Do we really need less reminders of who originally inhabited this land, and what became of them?

And the fact that NCAA sanctions seem to be the final motivating factor (I said seem, I have no facts) makes it just that much more crappy. I don’t think it’s really about the dishonor to the Native Americans (though some do feel dishonored by him), it’s more about the dishonor to the pocketbooks of the school. Now they can go on and host their tournaments and bring in the dough, but with a huge loss to their tradition and identity. Great lesson to the students, don’t ya think?

Head over here to see a video of the past Chiefs and of the Chief’s final dance.

ht: Jackie (she still needs a blog for me to link to)

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