Monday, August 26, 2013

Bluebird of Mine

Spent the day with this precious bluebird and have never been more certain about our decision to wait until next year for Kinder. Love having her to myself and so grateful for this time. Said the mom who may also be pretty excited about pre-k starting next week.

And she's obviously gifted.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fresh air is something I know I need and want but I've never seen it. Sometimes I know I'm breathing it in but I can't see it in front of me. At least not until today. I had the amazing privilege to get a peek into such refreshment this very day. I want to share it with you. Look quickly because it's just a willowy glimpse of beauty but it's unmistakably there.

Can you imagine someone on Round Six of chemo cracking hilarious wit, sharing incredible wisdom, and encouraging you all the while? Me neither. Before today. Meet Marianne. My dear, dear friend, inspiration, and soul sister. There's only one of her and the world could use so many more.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

We've been on a bit of a watch around here lately. Sure the whole world was waiting for the Royal birth. Would Kate have a boy or girl? Would she wear skinny jeans out of hospital on her way home with baby? Don't we love that the Brits say "hospital" instead of "the hospital"? No need for extras for them. Except of course if we're talking about the future King and then bring on the fluff and pomp. Anyway...I obviously saw something shiny and forgot what I was typing.

I wanted to say that we've been on our own watch here in our home. Waiting for Emerson's second grade teacher to call and introduce themselves. Maybe not as newsworthy on a global scale but big stuff here for the resident eight year old. The bated breath wasn't really for the answer to the question of who the teacher would be as much as it was who else would be in the class. Emie's braved three separate elementary schools in her short tenure as a student and I was so hoping she'd be in class with the two little friends with whom she is closest here in Texas.

The much anticipated call came last night and Mrs. S introduced herself to me over the phone. She sounded great. Energetic and kind and already asking if Emerson wanted to go by Emerson or Emie complementing her name all the while. I liked her. Before I had even hung up the phone I could hear my cell buzzing with a text. Both moms of her friends were texting to say their kids were not with Mrs. S.

My heart sank. I know this isn't the perils that royals deal with or a global catastrophe, but my heart broke for Emerson that she'd be starting over again this year with a clean slate in the friend arena. I ponied up and prepared to have "the talk" with her. I told her that I had received a call from her teacher that evening. "Oh, I hope, I hope that Ines is with me!" she beamed. I felt myself grow a little warmer as I carried on, prolonging the inevitable. She sounds so nice, I went on, "Her name is Mrs. S!" "Oh, I've seen her before", Emie said. I knew I could skirt no longer and had to just throw it out there for her so I stared the little love right in the eyes and said, "Ines and Charlie aren't in your class." She let out a tiny, almost imperceptible sigh, and then said, "Well, if our rooms are near to one another we'll go to recess at the same time and I can catch up with them there." She bounced out of the room and went back about her happy little life.

So there you have it. I neglected to follow my own favorite piece of advice, "Don't borrow trouble." I love that my firstborn girl reminded me that surprise plot twists almost always make for the best stories. May I do as well with my own story.

In other news, all of my talk of being awesome is nothing but folklore now. We are in the last few blocks of the marathon and sprinting is but a memory. We're walking with a bit of a limp but we're getting there. School starts in four days! The "no tech screen" window has shrunk more than a little and I may or may not have eaten all of the Hershey's Special Dark chocolate bars that Walgreens had in stock last night. Antioxidants, friends! And mental acuity, which by the likes of this post shows that I need to get my hands on some more of those puppies before sundown. Consider it done!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

From Zero to Hero

I just read something that really resonated with me.

This truth really hit me week before last but I couldn't articulate it as simply as this. I just was feeling really lame in my parenting. I had gotten pretty completely lazy about monitoring how much time the girls were spending playing on the computer, watching the TV, or playing on one of our phones. I got mighty comfy just letting them chill while I did my super important stuff (read: Checked Pinterest for more ways to make my life better in Every.Single.Way!). I was well aware of my mediocrity and mostly just felt crappy about it and resolved to accept that I had just wasted an opportunity to do well. But it dawned on me that I could do something different. All was not lost! The girls weren’t on their way to “juvy” just yet and there was still some chance for each of us to lead productive and interesting lives once again.

That very morning I was on FB (checking super-important geo-political updates no doubt) when I saw a post from my friend Kate in New England. She admitted to falling into a similar lack of awesomeness in mama-monitoring and had just instituted a new rule in their home: No tech or screens of any kind from 10am to 4pm every day. Brilliance right in front of me. I copied her plan instantly, as I often like to do from the smart people I know, and made this little rule our own. I'll add that our entire summer wasn't one big wasteland of brain-drain. We kicked things off with a long vacation followed by two weeks of daily swimming lessons. We were something back then. But then came August...

Instituting my new rule felt good instantly. It was great to see the girls follow the rules and leave technology alone. But when I found them staring off into space for long periods of time I realized we needed something to do. Actually a lot of somethings once we truly unplugged. It’s not like we all just laid on the floor all day and watched Bravo before (that was just me, sillies!). I kid. But we had gotten pretty cozy in the A/C just lounging the lazy days of summer away.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thirteen Years People

Dirk and I celebrated our thirteenth anniversary yesterday. Well we really celebrated the day before because that's when the babysitter was free - but yesterday marked thirteen years since our wedding day. It's kind of hard to believe that it's been that long since we hosted what we think is the funnest wedding ever thrown. But it was kind of about us so I suppose that's not a fair contest. But it was fun and even after all of these years later, there's nothing I'd have changed about it.

A barn wedding before barn weddings were a thing. I still remember the look on my dad's face when I told him I'd marry in a barn. He was not feeling the patina and character and vibe I had in my mind. And he saw it before it was set up. Before the old mattress laying on the floor and dirt had been swept out of the place. But I knew it would be amazing. I just didn't know how amazing. And so has the theme of our union been. I knew I was getting a great deal that day. I just didn't know how great a deal it would turn out to be. God picked the best partner for me. He's not the best in the world nor am I. But we are this - the best for one another. I've never been one to say "He's my everything. My soul mate. The best husband in the world." Because you know what - no mere mortal is all of those things every moment of the day. Don't tell Facebook I said so since it screams the opposite from loquacious members everywhere. But seriously people, it's not about being the most amazing person in the entire solar system. It's about being amazing to my man. To my kids. Just bloom right here. Big love blooming like wild right under our roof. That's my charge. May I do it well.

So rather than mush crazy over my man I will say this-- God led me to a really good man. There's no one I'd rather be partnered with in the twists and turns that make up a full life. I'm sticking with this one come rain or come shine. Blessed, grateful, and since it's our thirteenth - Lucky!