Thursday, September 20, 2012

summer twenty-twelve

Just thought I'd sum up some of  what we did this summer. 

Ruby learned to ride her bike just before summer began.
Natalie turned five.
4th of july.
Charlie turned two. 
Slip-n-slide fun.
Hot, hot, hot.
Jordan worked a lot.  Too much!
The beach... but not enough.
Drought!  Hottest summer in history.
Dwight and Vonnie's pool.
Garden.  Too many tomatoes.
Ice cream.
Hot, hot, hot.
Charlie potty training and doing great.
Natalie- bike-riding, friends, playing like an animal.
Ruby- princess, dresses, her own fantasy, bike-riding.
Charlie- terrible twos, talking so much!! Loves tools and trucks.  All boy.
An amazing summer!

Monday, September 17, 2012

About a week ago, I came across a blog of a young local woman who was dying of breast cancer.  She is married with three kids.  I just glanced at some of the older posts that she had written and she dealt with her scenario with humor and hope.  But the most recent post was written by her husband.  He talked about the week they had just spent at a cottage as a family.  And about how they had come to the decision to give up the fight.  The treatment wasn't doing anything for her quality of life and probably wasn't doing anything to stop the cancer.  This post just rocked my world.  I just couldn't imagine being in their shoes.  They are people of faith but still... how do you say goodbye to the loves of your life?

In this post, her husband said that it was predicted she had 4 weeks left.  But one week later, she is gone.  And even though I don't know this family, my heart aches for them. 

Over the weekend I have found myself constantly contemplating what I would do different if I were dying of cancer.  I think I would start making time for what's really important.  I would spend all my time with my kids, Jordan, and the Lord.  Can you imagine knowing that your life is going to end soon?  I would want to be more in touch with Jesus to reassure me that everything will be ok and to guide me in how to fill the rest of my time on earth.  I would cling to Jordan.  I would just want to soak in everything about him.  I would want to be as connected to him as ever and make sure that he knew everything he's meant to me.  I would play endlessly with my kids and just hold them.  I would write letters to them for all of the milestones that they would someday face without me.  I hope that I would make time to connect with the friends who don't know Jesus as their Savior.  I wouldn't hold back anymore and I would just urge them to give Him a chance.  Would I ever be at peace with leaving this world and everything in it behind at my age?  I haven't had a full life yet but why should that be guarenteed to me?  Many people don't die of old age or in their old age.  So what's really important?  What would matter to me if I were dying right now.

Well, I am.  My days are numbered.  I don't know when it'll happen and I pray that it's not until I'm 'old'.  But the clock is ticking.  What haven't I done that I would regret should I die tomorrow.  What has been left unsaid?  Am I more consumed with things created or the Creator of all things?  What do I need to change in my lifestyle.

What would you do if you were dying... because you are.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

destination: kindergarten

Yesterday was Natalie's first day of kindergarten.  She was so anxious to go.  She got a good nights sleep and woke right at 7.  She was so business-like when she got up.  She put in her breakfast request, "something special like this egg (meaning a hard-boiled egg) and zuchinni bread," and knowing exactly what she wanted to wear, she got dressed right away.  She was ready in 15 minutes so we had 45 minutes to bounce around and wait.  Charlie and I walked with Natalie to the bus stop across the street and we anxiously waited another 10+ minutes.  I was feeling fine about it all, I was very excited for her too!  Before the bus came, I hugged her and told her how proud I was of her.  I was being all sentimental-like but her eyes wouldn't even meet mine as they were darting around looking for the bus.  So I'm not sure she heard a single word I said!  And then it came.  She wouldn't kiss me because of all the other kids there and she hardly said 'good-bye'.  She just walked away from me and climbed those big stairs without ever looking back.  And Charlie and I began to cry. 

She was out of my control!  I wanted to make sure she would have somewhere to sit.  I wanted to experience all of this new stuff with her.  But I couldn't! 

At first Charlie was holding out his arms saying, "Naynay" and I was snapping pictures.  Then Charlie put his head in my shoulder and that's when we started to cry.  The bus driver asked if we were going to be alright and we laughed about it.   She shut the door and drove away with my baby.  And as the bus pulled away I noticed Ruby standing in the driveway crying for her sister, too. 

We missed Natalie that day.  I don't think any of us quite knew what to do.  So Ruby and Charlie chose to fight while I walked around biting my nails and looking at Natalie's schedule for the day.  Seriously, the day was kind of a blur.  I got nothing done that day...didn't lift a finger for anything (except to chew on it!). 

But soon it was time for the bus to arrive.  She came off the bus like she had been a bus-rider all her life.  She has such a quiet confidence about her!  She acted nonchalant about the day and I couldn't get much out of her.  Gradually throughout the night, she revealed more about her day to us.  Some boy killed a cricket at recess (jerk!) and Natalie was upset about it.  She ate lunch with Briella and drank all of her chocolate milk.  She sat with Molly (one of our 'babysitters in training') on the bus, and she had a cupcake.  She made a friend, too, but couldn't remember her name.  She said that when she got off the bus at school, she wasn't sure where to go so she stood there and "waited for someone to get me".  And someone did!  I just wish so badly I could watch her throughout the day!  In her backpack was a nice/corny little poem for us parents.  I was quickly skimming through it but towards the end, it actually made me cry and laugh in spite of myself.  It said something about that it's hard for us to let her go but that she (the teacher) will love her as her own while Natalie is in her care. 

My mom took us to the Soft Spot to celebrate and then it was time for Natalie to shower and get to bed.  I hardly got anytime with my Natalie Jane that day and she'd be leaving me again tomorrow.  That will take some getting used to.

I read this out of my 'Jesus Calling' devotional book this morning (the 2nd day of school) and I feel like it totally coincided with this new school adventure.  It read:  'Entrust your loved ones to me; release them into My protective care.  They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.  If you let a loved one become an idol in your heart, you endanger that one-as well as yourself.....  I detest idolatry, even in the form of parental love.  When you release loved ones to Me, you are free to cling to My hand.  As you entrust others into My care, I am free to shower blessings on them.'  I know that it is no coincidence that that was my reading for the day.  That is what I want, for God to be in control of Natalie's life as well as the rest of my family.  And I want to cling to His hand and for Him to shower blessings on them all.

So it's another milestone in Natalie's life.  Another first that has come and gone.  But I'm so excited for her to learn and grow and experience this new stage of life.  Even if it means I have to let her go a little more.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

morning at the beach

I can feel that summer is on it's way out.  And with school starting, I've been trying to cram in all of the summer-only activities that I can!  Like the beach!  We had a playdate with church friends at the beach yesterday.  It. was. wonderful.  A gorgeous day, the water was nice enough and the air temp was perfect!  We got there early and I snapped some shots of the littles.  The beach was still empty at 9:30.  I'll have to get there at that time more often.  As with every year, I'm wondering why we didn't go to the beach more?!  Especially early when I can easily keep an eye on the kids.

 Something I love about both of the girls is that they always feel free to spontaneously sing or dance wherever they are!  They see life as a musical and I love that!