Thursday, September 29, 2011

a love letter.


We love you so.

We love the baby you've been and the boy you are becoming.

Son, we can't help but pat your fluffy, red hair when you walk by.

The face expressions you make are just too much. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we rush to comfort you. Mostly we swoon.

You want to be like your brothers, we know. And you are like them. But you are also so very special and unique. You are one of a kind, young one.

We're treasuring these fleeting moments. Holding your hand. Snuggling you tight in our arms. Rocking you. We know you can't possibly stay this little forever.

If only we could save a few of these days in the deep-freeze to pull out for our comfort on your first day of high-school, the day you leave home, your wedding day.

For now we will hold your little body in our loving arms and cherish every swing of your sleeping legs.

Oh, son. We are so happy to be your parents.

With Love,
Mom and Dad

walking the earth again.

All too often I decide (usually on a whim) to park our car somewhere and take the kids on a ridiculously long walk. I don't plan ahead well enough to bring a stroller. Or a backpack. Or even a water bottle. Today my pockets were brimming with granola bars and I figured we'd come across a drinking fountain at some point, so we set off across my favorite foot-bridge.

I can't help thinking, just a little, about my world just a few years back, before the foot-bridge was paved and open to the public. Then, it was an unused rail-road bridge with barbed-wire fences blocking both ends. In my reckless youth, I climbed those fences, jumping from one wood-slat to the next for a bit of adventure.

Where once was a thrilling, forbidden gamble for footing, today we found solid, safe and welcome support for bodies, young and old.

When I was young, often found myself on uncertain footing. Now my world and my soul are generally more stable, predictable, and reliable. I like that a lot. I've been able to take down my barbed fences and invite people, young and old, into my life. And I can be there to support them in their journeys.

I've been reading a marvelous, new book called "Daughters in My Kingdom" which is a history of the women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I've especially been enjoying the examples of women who have gotten their acts together during times of trial specifically in order to help the other women around them.

"It is my strongest desire that our young women of today be made to comprehend the work of the early members who, without the facilities of the present time, comforted the sad and distressed, visited the widow and fatherless, and were like ministering angels." -Emmeline B. Wells, 1914

As I've come, through reading, to better comprehend the examples of these remarkable women, I've wanted to do more and be more. I've wanted to be available to help others. I've wanted to be more available to my husband and children. I've wanted to give more of myself. It feels really good to start to think, "what can I give?" instead of my frequent, "what am I getting?"

On this footbridge without barbed fences, we met the cheeriest, magic bubble-man. The cargo he carried was an assortment of bubble wands. We could tell that he loved bubbles so much that he just had to share them!

The boys chased him over half of the expanse of the bridge. This man was my angel for the moment as we were on our ridiculously long trek back to the car and the kids were officially done walking. (Not even my best lecture about Pioneers crossing the plains could motivate them.) I really love this somewhat strange man and I hope for him countless blessings. I want to be just like him.

Reading good books and then walking around a lot seems to stimulate my mind in miraculous ways, filling my soul, filling my bucket so I can fill theirs. You would think I'd feel drained on this day that was supposed to be my baby's due date, as I feel no end coming. But I don't. I am full, mmm.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Evil mom laugh.

Ancient history.

Goodbye long study hours. Goodbye exam material. Goodbye spending too much money to sit and take a test all day. Goodbye waiting months on a very important letter.

Hello, Certified Public Accountant.

I couldn't be more proud of my accountant husband. He passed all four sections of his exam on the first try, that smarty pants. It only took a year of vigorous study. What a wonderful provider he is for our family.

Oh, how I love him.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall mushrooms. And when all I can do is laugh.

My mushroom-cap hat is pretty much my favorite fall accessory ever. If you couldn't tell, the boys are also fans.

The following story has very little to do with the pictures. Except it happened on the same day (today) and it happened while these pictures were being loaded onto the computer...

So Iggy (pictured above) was in the bathroom going #2...

Then he runs into the living room and says, "Hey, mom. I was going poop and after I went poop I needed toilet paper to wipe my bum, but we didn't have any, so I think we need to go to the store."

Well, I recalled just putting out a fresh roll. And Iggy was soaking wet. Fishy?

I went into the bathroom to find it flooded, with the toilet seat down. Inside was an obviously full roll crammed as far in as it would go.

Stinker. And his convincing stories? What are we going to do with him?

Also, he's on time-out. And he just yelled the following...

"Fine. When I get off time out I will bite you. And I will bite soap. And I will wash my mouth and I will be HAPPY. HAPPY! HAPPY!!!"

Some times all I can do is laugh. And marvel at the pictures from earlier in the day when they were actually being pleasant.

Now he's making a "beep" noise to try and trick me into thinking his timer went off.

I can't help but love that kid. Even when he wants to bite me.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

a story about love.

Friday morning I awoke to the sounds of their little feet running down the stairs. The boys snuggled their cold toes into our covers and rocked our bed around as their bodies wiggled with the excitement of a new day.

Duke said, "Well, I'd better get to work."

I cried.

He didn't notice as I cried into my pillow. I sobbed to myself while he took a shower. The boys, always very concerned when I cry, asked if I was sick. They hugged me and kissed my cheeks until I composed myself and went to make breakfast. I checked the mirror and still had puffy eyes, which I was hoping he might notice. (Women are strange like that.)

Duke continued to ready himself for the workday while I calmed down, and when he eventually came to kiss me goodbye I was oh, so cold to him. I am sure he was confused as he asked me if I was alright. I am sure he was even more confused when I burned my hand on a pot and instantly became a full blubbering mess.

I explained, the best I could, that I was lonely in a house full of people, that I couldn't face another day of routine and waiting for this baby to come, that I felt like he was miles away from me when we were sitting side-by-side.

Then I calmed down and said he should go back to work. He walked into our room for a moment, and returned saying, "Let's go to the beach. Today." When I started to protest he said, "What does work, or anything else, matter if you are not happy?"

And that is why I have total faith in the great possibility of happy marriages that last.

He knows I feel most loved when he spends quality time with me. I know he feels most loved when I tell him with tender words how I feel about him and when I hug and kiss him often. We each minister to the other's needs, loving one another the way that we feel love the most, even when it's a great sacrifice. And we are happy.

The beach was warm but foggy; so foggy that we couldn't see the ocean from the shore. I imagined we were on the coast of Ireland and that fishermen with their nets stood along the water's edge.

We marveled at the tiny wonders that unfolded before our eyes as we walked further into the mist and our vision permitted the new terrain.

My empty tank (and I imagine, the tanks of several, little boys) filled and filled. My cup runneth over.

I am so thankful for my marriage to a man to whom I can confide even my most irrational feelings.

I am so thankful for a family that, when all together, helps me put the pieces of myself in place so that I can function.

I am thankful that strained relationships can be healed time and time again.

I am so thankful for a loving Father in Heaven who gave us all a world of treasure at our fingertips, so long as we take the time to prioritize and sacrifice that we may see it clearly.

And I'm thankful for beach sand, even if it comes home with us like a stray dog.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Joyous day ahead.

Duke is coming home in about a half an hour to take me to the beach.

My heart is doing a little dance.

Maybe you've seen this video already. I hadn't, until this morning, so I thought I'd pass it along. Maybe it makes you smile like it makes me smile.

Happy Thursday. I hope it's a joyous one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

December, 1963. Or rather, September, 2011.

I tried singing "Oh, what a night" to my babies as we walked together through the park and they just stared at me with blank expressions. Deprived children. We will be having a dance party tomorrow morning.

I couldn't get the song out of my heart all night. The upbeat sound ringing in my mind had me running, really running through the park, belly and all.

(Don't you love the face that Fitz makes when he says "cheese?" Is he in pain? I can't tell.)

Music is magical. Speaking of magical, we saw the closest thing to fireflies us north westerners can come by; swarming gnats, back-lit in the dusk. We're simple folk, easily pleased.

What a night. Chocolate milk from the carton. Racing. Tag. Climbing trees.

I'm glad for these last of the beautifully warm evenings before the season of endlessly runny noses.

My (accountant) husband is already casually mentioning next tax season occasionally. I think we may need to make a rule censoring that topic. Too many good, fall things to spoil with worry over impending chaos and loneliness.

I just had to start "Oh, what a night" in my playlist again to stave off the blues.

Usually we spend our time escaping today's woe in our daydreams of better days ahead. Instead I'll escape from the pain of the future in the reality of now. Life is really good now. What a very special time for me.