Monday, April 30, 2007

Maternal Gold

"You are such a good mother..."

How incredible to hear.

"Your children are so lucky to have you..."

Pure gold.

I am cherishing these nuggets of love, given to me in the last few days by both my mom and Geoff's mother. They are mere words, but have meant the absolute world. Who am I to have two mothers, who love and encourage me so? Can I, for one minute, begin to believe in their hope?

And then to consider our Blessed Mother and how wonderfully she cheers for me and all mothers from her heavenly throne! I am thrice blessed.

Thank you, dear Father, for your gift of my mothers. I so cherish them. May You uphold me during today's battles so that I may, oneday, be the same blessing to my children.

Thank you, Moms, for always building me up, especially when the day-to-day has the tendency to do the opposite. You are priceless.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

God Bless Blogging

On this beautiful Lord's Day, I am overwhelmed at the opportunity to grow spiritually and spur one another on (Heb. 10:24) through blogging! What a blessing others' words and blogs have been lately in my daily journey with Christ. I found special grace today reading a prayer shared by a woman I don't know, but can understand on a very personal level. How powerful!

Also, what a blessing this blog has been, providing me an outlet to share just about everything in our day-to-day! Thank you for taking the time to walk with us, offering love and encouragement.

And on top of all of that...
Perhaps this blog is making me more mentally sharp! Amidst the humdrum of Sesame Street, toddler talk, and baby cooing, I am constantly looking for ways to stay "with it". Lately I've found my conversations with adults to be more engaging and my diction much improved thanks to the daily blog writing. Who needs
brain food when there's blogging?!

Hugs and have a blessed day.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ode to our coffee table

Today GG fell through a glass and wicker coffee table we've had as a hand-me-down from his parents. He was sitting on it, holding T-man while watching the NFL draft. I shrieked and the kids cried in response... and all were fine in the aftermath. That is, except for the table.

Ode to fair table

You were a good, old boy.
You allowed many years of feet resting and glass holding.
You endured thousands of hours of college football Saturdays and nonsensical TV surfing.
You sat in the unused times, waiting to serve your purpose.
You hoped for a Pride and Prejudice marathon or, perhaps, an epic viewing of Anne of Green Gables.
You prayed for a rare dinner in front of the TV.
You were solid and sturdy.
You were rather grand.
Until today.
We will miss you.

G-mus Grandus Coffeus Tableus


Friday, April 27, 2007

Going Back

At the request of a friend, here are a few shots of GG and I from our youth. See if you can pick out any of the boys' traits... Enjoy! :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fancy Feet, etc.

M came walking out into the living room yesterday clopping around in Mommy's black, kitten-heeled sandals. You can imagine Daddy's dismay! GG hid the sandals immediately and set out to engage M in flip-flops. Ah... much better. It's rather scary how natural he looked in heels!

Here's the latest of the to-be Hollywood star.

And some final glimpses of the Hawaiian boys, paying homage to the late Don Ho.

Is T not unbelievably scrumptious? (bias, yes) After a stressful week with him on a nursing strike, we are finally back to normal and thriving again. Sadly, I think I was the cause, yelling out when he bit down the other day. Wouldn't you yell too? Ouch! This is all probably TMI, sorry! Nonetheless, my adoration for him has returned. I think the 8-9+ mos. age is one of my favorites.

God bless you.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Luau Lovies

Here's a quick shot of the fam at a friend's Luau picnic the other night. The boys were dressed so adorably thanks to their fashion Mimi, who always decks them out in the cutest duds! What precious Hawaiian shirts... I couldn't help but include the "after" picture below. Can you tell M is a two-year-old? Strong-willed and so independent! I can easily see him acting the same way in 15 years--"I've had enough of this family togetherness."

Rainbows for M

M and I are here together, playing on the computer. All he keeps saying is "Bum Bown" for "rainbow" because the last time we were on the computer (weeks ago), we looked at Google pictures of rainbows. Then we started the "'ow 'bout brown?" game. M would say a color "how about yellow"and we'd Google it to find color images. Very cute. We're now off to find some rainbows and colors... Here's one to share! Have a great day.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Slightly Ancient

GG, M, T, and I attended a thank-you picnic this evening, honoring members of the law community who served in class leadership positions. It was a smattering of the law populace and we were the only ones there with children. Needless to say, we hung out in the backyard on the swingset while everyone gathered on the deck.

As if we needed more of a reason to feel out-of-place, the conversation (on the deck) quickly turned to popular bars, being wasted in front of potential employers, the latest "Mystic Tan" parlors, etc. Meanwhile, M fell off the swing and cried rather loudly, T squinted and swung contendly, and G and I shoveled our faces with food during spare kid-less moments. What a funny contrast.

Though there are times when I surely wish to be back in the deck crowd, I couldn't help but feeling absolutely contented with my "ancient" status as we walked to our car later in the evening. Praise God for my loving husband and cherub-cheeked boys. Praise God for free dinners, even if they are slightly awkward. Can't beat free food.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Blue Sky Smiles

What a blessing it was today to enjoy a family run together under blue, sunny skies. We conned M into the stroller by promising him a trip to the swings. He, of course, reminded us of this promise the entire run, only to reap his reward in the end. The boys enjoyed swinging and M also tackled the kiddie slide by himself. He and Daddy then played on the rocking dinosaurs. Too bad Mom forgot the camera! Here are a few glimpses of our time together after arriving home. May you also revel in a beautiful weekend with the ones you love...

Distance Classic Continued

Here are some additional race photos. Enjoy!

B-Mama and "B" before working hard

Staying relaxed at mile 7

And enjoying some much needed cheers...

Way to go, mamas!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sunnier Thoughts

After writing the piece below (thank you for bearing with my roller coaster emotions!), I sat down again to say we're really alright. The boys are well, GG and I are healthy, the sun is shining, and we have a Gracious God, who loves us so much. What's not to celebrate?

*Here's a shot of M and his twin cousins from the past weekend. M started the drum phenomenon, using two breakfast spoons to pound on an upside-down block bin. Soon, his cousins joined in, banging on some of Gramz' pots. They went on and on... M would bang for awhile and then switch rooms. The twins would follow.

We've been saying all along we have a musician in the making as M is (still) transfixed by music playing on the stereo. His latest faves include John Mayer (one of Mom's) and Toddler Tunes. He and I dance together throughout the day, depending on what's playing. Sometimes he'll request to get down from a meal in order to boogie. Very cute. Is it weird that I'm already imagining dancing with him on his wedding day? That's if he doesn't become a priest.

*T continues his quest to be independent and scrumptious at the same time. I can't get enough kisses of his cheeks, yet he wants to be off discovering the world. I'm already having to
let go! After reading an article about hard addictions (chemical dependencies) vs. the fairly new "soft addictions" (excessive coffee, TV, internet, etc.), I've decided my favorite "soft" addiction are those T cheeks. How wonderfully squishable and kissable...

Biding Time

It's always there.

Whether we're laughing, chatting, watching Lost, chasing children...

It's always there.

Like a dark backdrop to our day-to-day, GG's appeal and our potential future apart hang in the shadows, befuddling reality.

We listened this morning to a report from southern Baghdad. What is to come of this mess? Tough police chiefs are jailed. Corrupt ones remain in command. Towns lay in rubble.

I almost feel as if I'm being forced to put on filthy clothes and wear them again and again... and again. I hate that outfit. It is so out-of-style and ugly, not to mention worn and ragged. This is meant to be rather toungue-in-cheek. Here I am, lamenting about my dear hubby's uncertain future and all I can think about is fashion. What a prissy girl I've become.

G-Ville, though being beautiful and sunny outside today, is partly cloudy. We are fine. Just thought I'd give you the latest glimpse of my heart. God bless you.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Mother's Creed

I will worry less about my children and trust God more.
I will commit them into the Lord's care.
I will love my children unconditionally and let them know I do.
I will believe in them constantly and encourage them often.
I will pray for them daily.
I will teach them responsibility for their own actions.
I will try to be an example of godliness but will be unafraid to let them see my faults.
I will give them generous doses of laughter, interspersed with fun.
I will release them when they are grown but they will always be my own.

-author unknown (I found this beautiful piece on a church bulletin a few years back)

Thinking today of all the mothers (and fathers) who lost sons and daughters in the VaTech shootings. I pray for their delicate hearts... They were beginning to "release" their precious children and send them into the world, only to face such a nightmare. May God wrap His mighty arms around them.

I don't know if I will ever be ready to let go.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Distance Classic

So yes, I did it. The Columbus Distance Classic Half-marathon Saturday was great fun. I partnered up with an old high school superstar teammate and managed to log a faster time than at the Holy Half three weeks ago (1:42.15 and 7:48min/mile)! And my quads are feeling really good. How about that--a faster time with less pain. Better shape? Possibly. A great running partner? Definitely.

"B" and I were part of a "fearsome threesome" back in the day, always placing one right behind the other for our high school team's top 3. One year at the the Div. 1 state champs, we were 13th, 14th, and 15th, making every coach shake in their boots praying we wouldn't have a 4th and 5th runner in sight. We also stood side by side on the medal stand my sophomore year when our team did take home the state championship. Oh, the glory days. We all have them...

Saturday, though, we were merely two postpartum mothers out to prove we hadn't lost step with our "youth" (we still admit to being fairly young!) "B" actually finished over a minute ahead of me--super kudos to her! Thanks, girl, for lugging me through the first 8 miles. Here's a shot of us with our munchkins at a post-race meal. Race pics still to come... Stay blessed!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Better Late Than Never

Growing up, my family had a favorite book, Leo The Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus. It is the story of a small tiger named Leo, who takes a little bit longer in life to bloom. How apropos the text is for my little growing family...

Leo couldn't do anything right.

He couldn't read. He couldn't write. He couldn't draw.

He was a sloppy eater. And he never said a word.

"What's the matter with Leo?" asked Leo's father.

"Nothing," said Leo's mother. "Leo is just a late bloomer."

"Better late than never," thought Leo's father.

Then one day, in his own good time, Leo bloomed!

He could read! He could write! He could draw! He ate neatly!

He also spoke. And it wasn't just a word, it was a whole sentence.

And that sentence was...

"I made it!"

This post is dedicated to my little Leo, T-man, who at 8 months (tomorrow) finally rolled from back to front! Once he realized his strength and agility, he's been rolling all day. Incidentally, he rolled from front to back at 2 weeks, so this feat has been a long time coming! Congratulations to my late bloomer. God bless.

Friday, April 13, 2007

An Update

Here's a quick update on the pregnant mothers I mentioned last Wednesday:

*The first of the two (30 weeks along) gave birth to a 2lb. 7oz. and 15in. healthy little girl! By the miracle of prayer and modern medicine, little "A" has not needed a respirator or ventilator and only regular checks of pulse, breathing, etc. What a precious miracle!! Her mother and father have been able to hold her skin to skin and begin bonding. Your continued prayers for the whole family would be awesome!

*The second mother (now 33 weeks) has been in the hospital on bedrest after the docs found protein in her blood (indicating true pre-ecclampsia). Thankfully while there, her bp has gone down to the point they are now considering sending her home and having her return for weekly checks. Also a blessing, the baby measured 4lbs. 11oz. at 33 weeks! Praise God for a family history of 10lb. babies!! Again, they'd so appreciate your prayers.

Thank you, prayer warriors, for journeying with me. Have a blessed day...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Sisterly Bonding

From once quarreling sisters to now friends and fellow mothers, my dear sis and I shared a moment tonight over dinner. First, M began to melt down after I yanked his drippy, ice-creamed spoon from his grasp. Thankfully J (sister) jumped in, wiped his hands and face, and distracted him from the aforementioned tantrum. All was well. Then, one of her boys took off and the other followed, heading for the restaurant exit. J yelled and took off after them, managing to catch them before they escaped. Oh Heavens...

By the time she returned, we just looked at each other and broke up laughing. What a circus we must have appeared to be. God love us... We continued to laugh, collect ourselves, and then laugh again at the absurdity of it all.

I said a little prayer for the lady at the other table who scowled at us. May she someday know the joy of children.

Here's a shot of 3 of the 4 Motley Crew members from Christmas 2005. How angelic?!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Keep Knocking

A friend's wisdom today inspired me to write this posting...

Lately both of our children have been like broken records in asking for things. Her daughter, very articulate, will say, "Mommy, I want some juice. Mommy, I want some juice. Mommy..." on and on. M has also been into repeating things like "juice, juice, juice..." to use a similar example. Most of the time this practice drives me crazy, but I must admit, is often quite successful in getting my attention and getting him what he wants.

So why not try it with our Lord?

Doesn't he tell us "Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."? (Matt. 7:7)

Does he not say "pray continually"? (1 Thess. 5:17)

What struck me most of all about this was my need to be repeatedly placing my desires at His feet, soliciting His help and guidance. How oft does my mind drift to thoughts like, "Oh, He knows my heart. I'll just bug Him if I pray for this one more time." Yet if I truly want to make my requests known to God, I better let him know them... and often!

In Matthew 18, Christ tells the people, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." Alas, today I am embracing my broken-record toddler's approach and kneeling at the throne of our Lord to petition (repeatedly) for my greatest wishes.

Can you guess what they might be?

Thank you, dear Catherine, for this wonderful meditation.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Splitting Headache

Ever hit your head really hard on the freezer door corner while putting away groceries in the fridge? Ouch! I guess that's an argument against grocery shopping at night when one is half-asleep. :)

Here's a shot to brighten any mood.
Good night and God bless.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Easter Tide

Hello after a brief blogging hiatus! What a blessed Holy Week and Easter celebration we had. Here's a brief update of the latest...*We enjoyed wonderful time spent yesterday with our dear friends from the law community. How gracious our Lord has been to provide us with these amazing folks and what lasting friendships we've formed. The day was complete with a toddler Easter egg hunt followed by a picture of all the tykes together (even with the babies!) You can watch the progression as Little T's frown grew and grew until he lost himself in a pool of tears. Mama's heart surely melted. After the hunt, we enjoyed a delicious feast and stuffed ourselves silly amidst lively conversation and munchkins running to and fro. A couple of us pondered lives with families of five, maybe six children. Count me in (don't freak out yet, parents!) Our boys are the lights of our lives by far. Why not add more? No foreseeable announcements yet. :) *M and T had their first sibling brawl during Easter Mass yesterday morning when M stole a bottle on which T was chewing. There was no distracting the little fella, T went right after his brother, swatting and attempting to get back his treasure. Hello T? You are only 7-months-old! He is a fighter, no doubt. Just waiting until he reaches toddlerdom.

* Dear friends of ours here welcomed their newest daughter on Friday, 12 days early! What a precious surprise... Mother and baby are wonderful, albeit tired. We would so appreciate your prayers for this family as they grow in their newness.

*GG has been working on his appeal, due Friday. We ask for your continued prayers. Thank you.

*T has been enjoying time in the Johnny Jump-Up as of late. He just hangs, bounces, and smiles.

*And breaking news today from the driveway... M hopped! As his witness, I will vouch for two feet off the ground at the same time. You're experiencing history in the making, folks. M also immitated the doc today, saying "Good see you" when we took him in for an ear check-up. Too cute. He loves "Docta Doo."

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Bunny Hop

Tonight before putting M to bed, I was trying to teach him how to jump (a 2-year-old skill, according to the books.) What an adorable effort! You should have seen the little fella romping around his room saying "hop, hop, hop," but having little success getting into the air (white boy, indeed.) He'll hopefully be my little hopping bunny just in time for Easter.

Papa will be glad to know he's having preliminary success catching a ball at a close distance. He closes his eyes and puts out his hands and if the ball happens to land in them, he's thrilled. I'm trying to get him to 'watch the ball into your hands' as my dad used to say. We're getting there, little by little.

Pre-Ecclamptic Prayers

Just today I've learned of two pregnant mothers, one 30 weeks along and the other, 32 weeks, who are experiencing pre-ecclamptic complications and need our prayers. The first has been battling with her situation for a few weeks, while the doctors have been attempting to postpone labor. She is now at the hospital readying to deliver the baby. Prayers for this precious life and the first-time parents would be so appreciated. The father is a fellow law student of GG's and the mother, an ecological biologist/professor at the university.

The latter of these women is the sister-in-law of one of my dear friends. The mother's bp has just begun to increase to more dangerous levels. She will be examined today to determine the cause of the increase and course of action for controlling it. She and her husband are also first-time parents and are undoubtedly worried. Please pray for a continued healthy pregnancy and for the doctors' skill in prolonging labor as long as possible!

Thank you for your prayers. I am so convinced God has special mercy for his tiniest children. I especially hope so when thinking of my two little miracles. May God have mercy on all of us.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Hope vs. Fear

So I thought I was doing alright. I thought I could manage a little portion of fear along with a full helping of hope. But I'm not doing so well at it. I'm not convincing myself inwardly of the strength I'm showing outwardly. My mind is already playing tricks on me--thinking we've said goodbye and GG is already off in Iraq. We haven't even yet to file the appeal! What is my problem?!

It's all George Strait's fault! His song "Run" played today from a beautiful mix made by GG's cousin two years ago for her wedding. In the song he speaks to the woman he loves, encouraging her to come to him as fast as she can. As I listen, old familiar feelings of longing from GG's first deployment reappear. I remember aching for GG day after day; wishing to have him close and feel his presence and hoping he would make it home. There were strong times, but also depraved ones. I don't want for us to have to do it again. I don't want for my GG to have to endure a deployment against his will.

I become so angered... but then so sad. I am not strong, but weak. I am human.

And then I think of Christ, praying in the Garden of Gethsemane and preparing for the cross. I feel his inner turmoil as he prays for "this cup" to be taken from him. He knew the future. He knew his destiny, yet he still wept and pleaded with God for it not to be so.

So I guess my fear and stray tears today are here to help me grasp a small portion of Christ's angst in the garden. How timely as we all look ahead to Good Friday.

Monday, April 2, 2007

A Sunny Start to Holy Week

What a beautiful day we enjoyed today! M and I spent time in the morning raking together. For M that means taking a baby rake we own and placing it in the pile of leaves, lifting it in the air, and scattering them all around. He's such a good helper. Later while he napped, I continued my leaf quest as baby T sat in the shade and played with toys (and ate a little grass!) He was so sweet and at ease. Wish I had snapped a picture.

Later I caught M attempting to feed T a goldfish cracker. It was halfway in T's mouth when it dropped and he grabbed it on the floor. Mom then stepped in and stopped the charade... M was not only freely sharing food, but also his trains, which was so great to see. We have a far way to go with him, but as long as I'm seeing positive progression, I'm pleased. He is also mimicking our two and three-word phrases now! His favorite song lately is "I'm a Little Teapot" where he sings "pour me out" at the end. It just melts me.

One final note--T got his other bottom tooth yesterday! Along with it came a second ear infection, confirmed today at the doc's. There has been at least one child on antibiotics in G
-Ville over the past month and a half! I'm sick of measuring and administering drugs... Spring and summer, save us!

Hope this finds you all basking in the sun (and Son) at the start of this blessed Holy Week.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sweet Potato T

I just fed T some homemade baby food--mashed cooked sweet potato and carrots. A few bites in, he started to gag, and a bite later, all of the potatoes and a good portion of milk (from our earlier nursing session) came up. Yuck. Just thought you all needed the visual. I guess mama's cooking ain't so good after all! :) Poor guy... Maybe this is his way of giving mom an "out" to buy jarred food. I will not quit yet!
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