Sunday, February 27, 2011

Love in the Brew Pub

So we went out for lunch last weekend to a fun little brew pub in Saint Paul. Isn't that where preschoolers need to be on a Saturday? Well, we were downtown for a little Scottish festival that was just that: little. So when we'd seen all there was to see we came across this cute little place and thought we'd pop in for a bite.

The girls were giddy as well, girls and were so happy to be in a restaurant. Emie did not fall far from the tree and loves being served in a restaurant as much as I do. So there we were waiting for our meals and Ainsley breaks into spontaneous hugs for her sister. It wasn't just one either. It was one after the other until they both dissolved in a fit of giggles. I'm pretty sure my heart went heavenward at least for a moment or two. It just did me such good to see Ainsley love Emie back so gently and intentionally. She loves her sister. There's no doubt. Follows her like a shadow or the most loyal puppy and very much wants to mirror Emie's every move. But she isn't always so genteel in her expression of affection in her little two year old way. Emie puts up with a lot of pushing and prodding as Ainsley learns how to join in on things without hip-checking her sibling in the process. So to see her initiate a hug and not want to let go was just pure delight.

I was so happy I had my camera with me to commemorate the moment. They love each other so much, these two. I want to help them remember how early this bond started. How much they looked out for one another and looked up to one another even when they were mere babes.

I'll close with my new favorite picture of the Ainsley love. It's just her for a hundred different reasons. I love that Emie's sweet legs are in the background beneath her princess dress up clothes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Many are the stars I see, but in my eye no star like thee...

Valentine's Day came and went and it did not disappoint. I think that's saying a lot since we often put a lot of pressure on one little day of the year to wow us like no other. I think I did plenty more of this when I was single, projecting my romantic visions everywhere I turned on February the 14th. Every couple shopping at Ralph's market was in full bliss in my mind's eye. Every man a Romeo. And everyone's plans more enviable than mine.

But now Valentine's Day is so much more to me than a day for romance. And maybe there's a wee bit of self-protection in that change of perception. Don't want to be disappointed when the limo isn't out front waiting for me with a nanny on her way to the door to take my job for the day. In any case Valentine's day to me is a day to celebrate the love in my life. And I have two little lovies in my home who like nothing more than a reason to have a celebration that actually focuses on the color pink. It doesn't get much better than that for them or for me either at this point in life.

Emie suggested we make a garland of ribbon to hang from our mantle. On it we would hang (with tiny pink clothespins) all of the Valentine cards we had received and made. It did turn out to be a most inspiring collection and a fun way to display all of the treasures. Em happily dressed in red (as per the Valentine Preschool Party requirement) and headed off to school.

While she was away Ainsley and I made lollipop cookies together. Well, she mostly helped to clean off the frosting from the beaters but it was a team effort all the same.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine. . ."

Stay tuned for a recap of the Big Love party planned here for my lovies. Hope your day is sweet~

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I blog for comments. . .

So I learned today that the "comment" option on my blog was somehow disabled before today. Well, I have no earthly idea how to make it come around for the old posts but from here on in you can comment away. I do hope you will. I love hearing from you...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

These boots are made for walkin'

The girls and I went shopping last night. Seemed like the right thing to do since it was just us girls. Dirk was presenting at a conference in Atlanta so we were looking for something to do before bedtime. As much as the man travels you'd think we'd all get used to his absence but the reality is -- there's just no substitute for him. We sure like him around here. Any old way, shopping's not a bad alternate when in a pinch. So off we went, just us three. We headed to a little shop where I'd seen some awfully cute black riding boots on sale that I thought might work for Emie. They were on sale because winter is almost over here in Minnesota (insert hearty guffaw here).

Knowing she'd still have plenty of opportunity to wear them, we popped in to see if her size was still available. Well they were there for us and it probably would have been some sort of consumer sin to leave such a bargain like that in the store - so we took them home straight away. Well, only after we stopped at the Dollar Tree and bought some Valentine treats for Emie's classmates and each little Mattson peep the balloon of their choice. I thought Ainsley's little heart might burst from her exuberance at finding a balloon that was not only the shape of a star but also had stars on it. It was red, white, and blue like the American flag. And wouldn't you know in early February they just happened to have a huge supply of this design. So she was the happiest little love in the place - even above her big sister who was nearly as happy to see her joy-filled heart at this amazing find. "Stars in da sky" she said repeatedly as she stared up at in wonder. Oh, the joys of the Dollar Store purchases. I love that place!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Big Sister

Beautiful Emerson Hope~
The other day we were on our way into the health club - the three of us girls. It's what we do pretty much every day of the week and we're all the happier for it. Ainsley was glad to walk rather than be carried and I was trying to be happy with this arrangement as well even though it means we are eating the dust of snails. Of course I'm delighted to carry her anywhere at all since she's just a baby. People keep telling me it's not true but they don't see what I see. Anyway, she likes to walk holding my hand just like her big sister does.

So there we were making our way across the slushy parking lot. You could actually see asphalt which, since about November it's taken nothing short of spectacular faith to believe was really still there under inches upon inches of snow. Any old way... bare asphalt was visible on this particular day which meant so were many sloppy puddles. And somehow with the uneven surface and unfamiliar pavement the little lovely took a tumble. It wasn't terrible. But it was one of those both-knees-down-hands-out-in-front *splat* moments. Poor dearest. What came next was the sweetest surprise. Ainsley stood right up and started to brush the wet from her hands. Her pants were not only wet and dirty (fashion foul for choosing cream pants that day) but they were also torn in two places. When Emie saw this her eyes filled with tears straight away. She looked right at Ainsley and said, "Oh, I'm so sorry, Ainsley. We'll get you all cleaned up. It'll be okay. Mama'll change you when we're home." She just wanted nothing more than to make it all better for her. I sure had a proud mama's heart in that moment. Of course it was nothing I could take credit for. It's just so Emie. Her heart of compassion for others is such a beautiful thing to see.

Ainsley settled right into Emie's care and concern and was smiling and happy within a moment. She didn't seem a bit bothered by her tattered clothes and I wasn't the least bit embarrassed to be sending the lovely into child care in dirty torn clothes. Okay, well I did explain that she'd had a tumble outside but I knew that those torn clothes were nothing but a reminder of her big sister's great love for her. I hope they'll always love one another well. Even before Ainsley was born I prayed that my two kids would be exceptionally close. And now that they're both here and they're both girls I'm especially vigilant in my prayers that they'll speak encouragement over one another before ever thinking to point out shortcomings. I'm not about to buy into the notion that sibling rivalry is a non-negotiable. That meanness and cattiness between girls is just how it is. Of course there isn't a beautiful soundtrack playing behind each and every one of their interactions but for the very most part they are so lovely one to another.

If ever I don't know what the matter is with Ainsley I know exactly what to do: ask Emie. She almost always knows. Even today I asked her what it seemed was upsetting Ainsley in her little car seat behind me. Emie said that Ainsley didn't want the sticker that someone put on her jacket. As soon as I reached around and took it off she was quiet as a mouse.

May they always know just what would delight the other's heart and be the first to extend that blessing.