“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”
~A.A. Milne, from "Winnie the Pooh"

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I Love You Because You're You

We have a favorite book in this house....a sweet little book about a little fox and his mommy. I've read it at least a million times, so many that I know it by heart and even more impressive, Liddy knows it by heart as well. It's raggedy, the cover is peppered with teeth marks, the spine is falling apart. The signs of a well loved book. Nothing makes my heart happier than listening to her "read" it to herself, repeating "I lub you" over and over with each turn of the page. 
Since this little book is such a staple in our house, I thought I'd make a post of it in honor of it's biggest fan. :)

I love you when you're happy and grinning ear to ear.

I love you when you're sleepy and want to snuggle near.

I love you when you're silly and dancing 'round and 'round.

I love you when you're frightened and hear a scary sound.

I love you when you're bashful and hide behind my knee.

I love you when you're brave and from my arms you flee.

I love you when you're curious and searching here and there..

I love you when you're proud, your head held high in the air.

I love you when you're sick and need to rest in bed.

I love you when you're frisky and standing on your head.

I  love you when you're sad and need a kiss and hug.

I love you when you're playful and rolling on the rug.

I love you when you're angry and cross your arms and pout.

I love you when you're wild and yell and scream and shout.

I love you any way you feel, no matter what you do.
I love you any way you are.
I love you because you're you.

~From "I Love You Because You're You" by Liza Baker

There is no doubt at all that I love this sweet and sassy almost three year old...no matter what she does...and no matter who she becomes. The sky is the limit and I have BIG dreams for her bright shiny future. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The End of 2013

Tonight I sit here at the computer, all of my kids (except one) under my roof, and I think how very blessed I am. Life here is quite a bit like living in a crazy zoo and while our life is far from perfect (or even sane), I have to say that I love the crazy (although I do have my moments of reminiscing about a quiet, clean, yummy smelling house haha). I find that despite my grumblings I wouldn't trade this life for the other quieter, cleaner, and much saner one for anything in the world.
Amid my review of New Year's Eves past, I can't help but stop on one not so long ago...the last New Year's before life irrevocably changed for us.
Three years ago, we spent part of New Year's eve in the labor and delivery department of our local hospital, contracting, hoping against hope for the first baby of 2011. It was not to be. We got sent home to wait for our induction date three days later. Bummer. I can't help but remember that woman I used to be, so impatient, yet so truly afraid of the unknowns yet to come. I've come a long way from then.....and I have changed so much that the me of today barely recognizes that version of myself. And I can hardly believe the twists and turns my life has taken since the cold, snowy January day that she brought herself into my world.
2013 has been a wild one, with every bit of the roller coaster like ups and downs that we rode our way through in 2011. Soaring highs, crashing lows. But as I watch my daughter play, as I hear her sing, as I hug my too tall son and he rests his chin on the top of my head, as I watch the formerly scrawny, now chubby, baby sit on his own, smiling and laughing, I know that without a doubt, this year has been a year of immense blessings, of being greatly favored by God. I'm beyond grateful...and extremely humbled. So here you go...our year in review.....

Happy New Year from our family to yours! May you be every bit as blessed in the coming year as we have been, and continue to be. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Chance Encounter

Dear Sweet Mama,
As I was rushing through the grocery store today, harried, strapped for time, two babies in tow, I saw you pass by us more than once. I saw you staring at our cart out of the corner of my eye. And never thought a thing about it as I sped through the store, stacking groceries haphazardly around my three month old in the cart, trying to escape the store before one or the other of the under 3 crowd had a melt down. 
As I swung around a corner (just keep moving and the baby won't cry!), I heard a sweet voice say, "May I look at your baby?" "Sure," I replied, without thinking, moving groceries and myself so that you could catch a view of Levi in the overladen cart. "Oh no," you said," I meant your OTHER baby. I didn't even know he was in the cart" and you smiled, already making your way to my daughter's side. I felt myself tense up because my child, as sparkling as a butterfly from a distance is often not so sweet and generous when her space is invaded. 

However, you bent down to her level and gently asked her her name....to which she replied in Liddy speak "Diddy". You smiled and asked how old she was....(to which she replied 3, which might be a slight stretch!) You leaned forward, kissed her forehead, and then said to me, "Mine just turned 57." Suddenly, this time crunched mama, who had spent the last 20 minutes tearing through the aisles, felt like time stopped while I stood and chatted with you. You told me that your son has Alzheimers and when I apologized, you said, "It is what it is and I had 50 years of the greatest blessing before time started to take him away." I had a lump in my throat as I watched you continue to speak to Liddy, not as a stranger, but in a voice overflowing with love for a little girl who you don't know anything about except that she shares the same extra chromosome as your son. 

I watched, blinking back tears, as my precious girl reached up and gave you a hug, signing "I love you." And as you started to walk away, you reached up to the collar of your sweater and unpinned the angel you were wearing, gently pinning it to Liddy's t shirt. "An angel needs a guardian angel" you said as you walked away. 
I want to say thank you. Thank you for stepping in at exactly the right moment and reminding me that nothing is more important than right now and that these moments with my babies, as stressful as they might seem sometimes, are fleeting. Thank you for pouring your love out to my child, for talking TO her, not about her, for showing genuine appreciation for who she is. Thank you for your honesty, for not sugar coating your reality, but remaining serene about what I know must be excruciatingly painful to watch as a mother. Thank you for giving me a glimpse of the type of mother I want to be.....the type of mentor I aspire to be to others just starting out on this path some day. But most of all, thank you for taking the time to step up and say hello. I have had a few parents stop me while Liddy and I are out and about but this encounter with you truly touched my heart deeply. 

I may never see you again but the memories of that brief conversation will stay with me for a long, long time. 
We are family, you and I. Please know that you and your precious son are in my thoughts and prayers tonight....and that pin you gave my baby girl will be a treasure to us always.