Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sisters {play ball}

These girls.

Every day I'm seeing them grow closer.  Delighting in each other more and more.  A subtle recognition that this other person is different, serves a different purpose, set a part from everyone else.  My prayer is to continue to help cultivate this relationship.  To teach them to love, honor and be thankful for the gift of a sibling.

The gift of sisterhood.

So here's to years of imagination, dressing up, dancing, giggles, secrets, stories, and...

playing ball.

{no baby was harmed in this game of catch. it's a squishy ball, and lulah thought it was funny :) }

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dear Lulah {month 6}

Lulah Grey,

6 months little one.

You have seamlessly filled our lives for 6 months now.

You're like a liquid that has spilled out onto the floor.  Unrestrained, flowing into every nook and cranny and crack.  Taking on whatever shape to fill up the space.

You just keep filling us up, spreading your joy and peace {and milk and drool}all over us.

To discuss the 'technical stuff', you are 20ish pounds, not sure how long, but pretty much wearing 12 month clothing.  I saw you roll over for the first time last week and you seemed very pleased with yourself.  Almost overnight, you're sitting quite well on your own.  You've learned to use your mammoth legs as a pretty secure base.  Still no teeth, but you are working hard.  Which requires some extra holding...but I don't mind.

Oh, Lulah.  My little second baby gift.  In the last 6 months, I haven't really kept track of a lot of 'milestones'.  I have no idea what percentile you're in, I just know you're a snugly sack of potatoes.  I'm not sure what you're 'supposed' to be capable of doing.  But I know you like to man handle any object that is in your reach.  I know that we can make you laugh with just goofy faces, no tickling required.  But the tickling, oh man!  It will probably be your Achilles heel.  If someone asked how often you nurse, I would not have an immediate answer.  But I know you get enough.  If someone asked how much you're sleeping, I would have to sit down and do some calculations.  I just know that most days I feel great and rested.  And I know that when you wake up and you see a face {me, your dad, lucy} you beam and grin and squeal.  I know that you don't need a lot of help to fall asleep, but that I still like to hold you for several minutes before I lay you down.  Laying your head on my shoulder, you find your thumb and start growling and humming at the sheer deliciousness.  Your other hand finds it's way around my neck and either squeezes like a sweet baby hug or finds my hair and starts stroking and twisting the strands.  I say a little prayer over you and then lay you down in a cradle that is starting to run out of room.  Whether bedtime or nap time {still getting used to having a napper!}, this is how you drift off to sleep.

I'm not looking ahead to what you'll be accomplishing next, I'm just celebrating where you are now.

Yes.  The tried and true of living the here and now.  And it is a fantastic place.

You were born in Spring.  With mornings still filled with chill, you stayed nuzzled against me around the clock.  Skin on skin, keeping you warm.  Getting to know each other, by sight, by sound, by smell.  New life.

You grew into Summer.  Hot and sticky with sweat and milk.  Content to be still and held.  A wardrobe of diaper and bib.  Early morning walks, afternoon dips in a hose filled plastic pool and evening swings beneath the fan of the covered porch.  Your world widened with the length of the days and our whole world slowed, not only to stay cool but to take you all in.

And here we are.  At the front door of Fall.  My favorite season.  A season full of new patterns for crocheted sweaters and hats.  A season of harvest and when you'll get a taste of the bounty.  A season of hiking and wandering and when you'll discover the freedom of independent movement, relying less of me for exploration of your world.  Leaf crawling, pine cone tasting, and accidental stick poking await you my dear.  You will love it.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dear Lucy {year 2 1/2}


Yesterday I sat outside the church in your daddy’s truck, waiting to pick you up from school.  A teacher walked you out, holding your hand, waiting for me to pull up.  I was seriously that mom that stared at you and started tearing up.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  The majority of the time, you feel like an extension of me.  But every once in awhile I try and just see you through objective eyes.  This was one of those times.  I couldn’t believe how you could look so tiny and so big all at the same time.  Rolled up jean shorts, your new hot pink sneakers, complete with a little pony tail.  Your big owl backpack hanging on your tiny shoulders.  A pursed lip grin across your face.  You are so stinkin’ cute.   

Which by the way, you have grown 2 ½ inches since turning 2!

You are also very bright my dear.   The things that you are learning and doing and speaking on a daily basis, amaze me.  I love our conversations.  I love the conversations I hear you have with yourself.  I love the conversations you have with Jesus.  You are sweet and precious and hilarious.

You adore your baby sister.  In every way imaginable.  You are an example of how to simply delight in someone.  You even have a different smile and expression saved just for Lulah.  It is amazing to watch.

Lucy I adore you.  You have the kindest heart and you become so concerned when people look sad.  Your humor and your smile just might cure all.  The things you recall and the stories you tell are becoming all the family entertainment we need.  Your imagination is taking off and I look forward to watching you take that journey.  

A new favorite phrase for you is, “I have to”

Lucy, can you please stop shredding that coloring page into tiny pieces all over the living room?
Sorry mom, I have to.

Lucy, please get your feet off of your sister.
But I have to.

Lucy, if your broom becomes a weapon we’ll have to put it up.
I have to mama!

This is what we hear all day long.  So we’ve been talking about what it actually means to, ‘have to’ :)

But one of my favorite parts of the day has become your bedtime routine.  I lay down with you and we chat a little bit, talk to Jesus a little bit and then cuddle up until you fall asleep.  And lately, right before you drift off, you roll over and take my face between your two hands and nose to nose you whisper, “Mama, I weally yove you. We had a gwate day.”

Yes baby girl, a day with you in it, is most certainly a great day.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

My 30th year

Getting older has never made me nervous.

Or at least not since I found the person I want to grow old with.
I love thinking about growing older with Steven.  We like to joke about who we’ll get to be.  Him, the gruff old man in suspenders with his pipe, tending the garden.  Me, long white braids, flannel skirts and sweaters with wolves on them, knitting and crocheting our home spun wool from our sheep grazing in the pasture beyond our back porch.

But looking at my daughters, I can't help but think of all that is in front of them and all that they will go through before they are 30.

 And so celebrating my 30th birthday, there are some things I would like to share.

So my Girls,

Stay open to people and experiences placed in your path. They may help you achieve your dreams and even ones greater than you imagined.

When you go through times where you feel pressure to perform and may even start feeling that you need to earn God's favor.  Trust His love for you.  You can question, be confused, confront, and be real.  But He is there and He passionately adores you.

While degrees and plans and jobs and careers are great, those are not the only reasons why we learn and grow and stretch as people.  To learn a new skill or craft just because, is as good a reason as any.  Don't be afraid to simply create.

And though you will make your own paths, in the years to come I hope to sit and share with you mine.

How I questioned and made mistakes. How I was lonely and fearful, joy-filled and awe struck.  How I traveled, followed dreams, achieved some and was let down by some.  How I’ve been proud of myself and deeply ashamed. How I was enriched by the lives of strangers, and changed forever by people who crossed my paths for only brief periods.  Built friendships that will last forever, and had my heart broken by others. 

But on this day, a day after I celebrated 30 years, I stand here and can say with certainty, with whole hearted belief, with passionate conviction, that here is what I know to be true:

God is faithful.  When you are not, HE is.  When you question, HE remains the same.  The Author of your life will never turn His back on you.  And HE is good.  Given back to God, your life will be beautiful.  In ways you cannot imagine.  And it doesn’t take the big and dramatic, although it certainly can.  But He will take the simple and ordinary of life and make it exquisite and rich.  He will take your sorrows and struggles and lead you to peace.  And God does this, even when you doubt that HE can.

And that is how you can end up celebrating your 30th year with your best friend, the coolest toddler ever and the sweetest baby on earth, and are unable to think of even one thing you wish were different.

So here is to a humbled and thankful remembrance of my first 30 and a giddy excitement for the next.