Tuesday, December 28, 2010

In a Child's Eyes

There are hopes and dreams there. Mostly mine for now, unless we count the hope that her brother won't sit on her as often tomorrow. Or the dream that she'll have be able to eat an unlimited amount of puffed rice cereal.

I hope she'll be happy. I hope she'll find a calling. I hope she finds a partner in life. Someone to love, who loves her back. I hope she'll know the love of children. I hope she'll be fulfilled. I hope she'll live a long satisfying life.

I also hope her brother won't sit on her as often tomorrow. As for the puffed rice.... well, maybe she can have a little extra, just this one time.

Monday, December 27, 2010


It's the day after, the day after the festivities. Apparently, real life was supposed to start again today, but I didn't get that memo. I'm not ready for it to be over. I'm not ready to stop listening to Christmas music. I'm not ready to stop eating (and eating and eating) Christmas cookies and treats. I'm not ready to put away the new treasures and packages that Santa delivered just a couple short days ago.

I'd love to stop the clock and live in this moment for a while. A long while. I want to enjoy these quiet moments when things aren't hectic. We're not in a rush. We can just be.

But the clock is still ticking, I know this because I can actually hear it. So, on we go.

It was with great reluctance that I plucked Ell from her crib this morning. She was warm and seemed softer than usual. Her fuzzy hair was standing on end, and she had sleepy eyes. As usual, she was as happy as can be. I took extra time feeding her. We perched ourselves on the sofa and looked at the snow while we snuggled under a blanket. I didn't want that moment to end.

Benett was even enjoyable this morning. (Miracle of miracles.) Be played with his new tractors and horses. (I chose to ignore Ell's pacifier in his mouth.) I love watching him play. He really gets into character.

It's 8:34 and Gavin is still sleeping. Monte took the little ones off to their day job and I'm here.... in the quiet. Listening to the clock tick. If I weren't so busy missing the days gone bye, I'm sure I'd be in my glory.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Wish

The Big Man has gone back up North. I’m sure he’s busy making final preparations, getting ready for the big night to come.

We’re doing the same thing here. I wish I could say that I had final preparations to make, but the truth is I’ve got the preliminary preparations yet to tackle. I should be concerned. But I’m not. I’m not feeling stressed, pressured or harried. That feels good.
Unfortunately, there are also things in my world that don’t feel so great. The economy has been an ever present shadow casting doubt and fear on the local community. It’s not just us, I know that. It’s tough for a lot of folks. But it’s affected the local community several times in the past year. Honestly, it’s hit too close to home far too many times. This week that reality is especially painful.
I’ve grown very fond of an individual who’s being laid off after many years of service to the company. He’s given so much of himself. He’s great at what he does. He’s kind. He’s dedicated. He’s a friend. Today was the last day that I’d see him sitting behind his desk. After today I won’t hear the friendly “Hey, lady…” that was part salutation and part invitation to sit in one of the comfy chairs across from his desk and chat.
He’s a great man. The past and upcoming weeks will be difficult for him. But in the end, I know he’ll find himself happy in a new role very soon. Another company will scoop him up and find themselves with a great catch.
Selfishly, I’m upset that my comfortable routine is being changed. Selfishly, the company will be a little weaker. Selfishly, I’ll miss my friend.
So, if the Big Man is listening… I’d like to amend our request. Gavin still wants a Nerf gun and the Mighty Beanz, but I’d also like you to visit my friend’s house and bring him some comfort this holiday season. And while you’re out and about, maybe you could stop by the White House?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I Believe

If there were a way to visually illustrate belief, this is surely it. Not just belief, but whole-hearted, unabashed belief. Throw in a dash of excitement (notice the edge of the seat) and a pinch of restraint and you have a little boy who’s just spotted Santa.
Even though I didn't capture the look on Gavin's face when he first heard Santa’s voice, I'll remember his reaction forever. He lit up, tried not to dash towards him, but rather patiently sit like he knew he should. For those of you who know him, sitting and waiting are not things that come easily (or naturally) for Gavin. But tonight he did both.
Tonight illustrated for me just how important it is to be in the moment. I was in the moment tonight, not thinking about anything else... all of my mental capacity was dedicated to my family, work wasn't even a blip on my radar... I was in the moment. The other valuable lesson was that though tonight wasn't supposed to be about Gavin, it meant a lot to him. These small innocuous, 'insignificant' moments are the ones that make up real life. Tonight was Benett's Christmas concert, but in the end, tonight was a big deal for Gavin and for me.
The wonder, the belief, is contagious. It’s the thing that fills up your soul and rekindles the fire in your heart. It’s invigorating and makes you feel like everything is right and good and as it should be. It’s God showing you his love through those who mean the most to you.
Gavin was thrilled. He saw the big man. He made is wishes known – nerf guns and mighty beanz are nothing to sneeze at. And me… well I’m filled with this really amazing feeling and covered with sticky finger prints. (Santa had candy canes.) Who knew a man in an ill-fitting red suit could make such an impact on a boy and his mom.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fresh Snow

This morning we woke to the pristine white of the season's first snow. There is something magical, special about the snow when it falls for the first time. (Ask me how I feel about the snow in February. That feeling is decidedly different.)
The boys were so excited to get out and enjoy the winter wonderland. Especially Benett. He didn't want to come back in the house. He was having too much fun... not understanding that shoveling is considered 'work.'

So it begins. Bundling in to snow pants and boots. Wet mittens and soggy socks. Snuggling by the fireplace and cuddling under extra layers of bedding. Call me crazy, or at least guilty of romanticizing winter, but I love the change of season. The landscape is transformed into something new, yet familiar. I don't even mind all of the little puddles that form around the wet boots that were kicked off by the door.... yet. Ask me how I feel about those puddles in February.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Project

Making this holiday season meaningful and special for the kids is important to me. Advent began today. As a child I recall enjoying an advent calendar. It was something that I looked forward to at the end of each day. I wanted to try to create that for my kids and make it a project for me too.

So I set out to sew a 'calendar.' Each day in our Advent calendar is represented by a small pocket. It's nothing fancy, just 25 pockets sewn together and displayed on a small lighted tree. Each pocket is fleece, with a cotton lining and a button closure. I hand sewed the day on each and finished each off with a garnishment, in the form of a bell.

Each pocket holds a surprise for the children. Some days have notes with reminders and some hold treats. Today was a message, "Christmas is a season of love. Love for self and others." That's pretty boring for a 7 year old, so it was coupled with extra story time tonight.

I think that message was as important for me to remember as it was to introduce to the kids. After the day I had today... I needed that reminder. And the story time was a great way to focus on what is really important.

Gavin enjoyed the story, and opening the pocket. I can't wait to do it again tomorrow. I think I'll enjoy this as much as Gavin and Benett will.