Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A Little Bit of Practically Everything

Several days ago, I walked into the kitchen, leaned into Mike, and, with a sigh of accomplishment, said, “It's just the two of us, and it's only 9 o'clock!”

Mike raised one eyebrow and gave me a skeptical look . . . at which point I noticed that I was still holding a child.

Well fine, if you’re going to be a stickler about details: almost the two of us then.

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This morning I discovered Summer splashing all of the water out of our dog's bowl. Anders sat nearby – mildly curious and idly watching.

“Anders!” I reprimanded, as I whisked the bowl away from Summer. “If you see Summer doing this, you need to tell me; or take the bowl away so she doesn't make such a mess!”

“But it wasn't me, Mom,” Anders protested, “It was just Summer.”

“I know,” I agreed as I began mopping water up with a towel. “But you're a big boy, so I need you to tell me when you see her doing something like this.”

“Oh,” Anders said – sounding surprised. “I thought I was still a little boy.”

I guess we never did have any kind of formal announcement, any clarification over his “big boy” status. I think I just erroneously assumed it was a given back when he finished potty-training a year or so ago. My bad.

(Also, see if you can spy the 4 year old who crammed himself into a pink, 18 month-old, poodle costume in the pictures below. It totally reminds me of Ralphie in his pink bunny outfit on A Christmas Story.)

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I've had a hard time putting thoughts into words of late. I alternate between thinking things like, “Power through! Get out that pencil (or keyboard, as the case may be) and ram away at that writer's-block wall!” and “Just give it a rest. Don't think about it and the words will eventually come.” (And then, one of my babies wakes up – making whether I do or don't want to attempt writing completely irrelevant.)

It’s a jumble of things about the intimate awareness God really does have for each individual – his ability to see how every event will affect every single one of us, and the steps to turn that individually (and eventually) for our good. Broader thoughts about not knowing the steps to get loved ones (or myself) from here to there, but a new trust that God does see every one of those steps perfectly (“Is anything too hard for the Lord?”). Feelings about hope and fear. A recognition that fear is never from our Father – no matter how justified it seems. A desire to abandon fear completely – to keep turning towards light and hope every time those black jaws gape wide and those fingers of despair reach towards me. Feelings of increased faith and hope (and less fear) over climbing the mountains I will inevitably face. An admission that precious things I now know . . . I could not have known without an uprooting of ease. A new acceptance of the fact that there will be more I’ll need to learn . . . that can only come by way of heartache and difficulty, but with that, more certainty that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” and that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

So many things on my mind that I want to get solidly out where I can exam them, but I feel like I am experiencing a period of growth that I can’t yet formulate into expression – much as I want to (and eventually hope to). As Maxwell said, “Sometimes the things we know take the form of knowledge about what is happening to us in life in which we sense purpose, in which we sense divine design, but which we cannot speak about with full articulateness. There are simply moments of mute comprehension and of mute certitude. . . . God often gives us the assurances we need but not necessarily the capacity to transmit these assurances to anyone else.”

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I love Mette in that little dress in this first picture. Something about it feels very . . . Scandinavian like her name and makes me imagine her foiling the plans of mischievous little trolls or associating with polar bears in a Jan Brett book.

Abe, Penny and Jesse recently had the pretty awesome honor of being groomsman, flower-girl, and ring-bearer at their cousin Devin’s wedding. Our ties to both Devin and Blaire are strong and deep (and it’s not just because Devin usually brings donuts when he visits), so it was a very big deal to my kids to be able to be a part of this huge day in the life of Devin and his now wife Jenny. I wish I’d taken pictures, but it was a crazy day and I only managed to snap this one of the three of them, but am grateful for this hilarious picture that a friend snapped of Anders’ intense interest in the wedding proceedings (haha), and this cute picture of Mette over my shoulder.

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Also, bits of Halloween. (My “real” camera is currently not working – gasp – we’re debating fixing it over getting a new one, but until then . . . my pictures will continue to be all cell-phone quality.)

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And lastly, Mette’s quilt. This is the third of my children to be born since my friend Jill took up quilting – and my third to get one of her quilts. It is so uniquely Mette-ish (just as Anders’ and Summer’s were so clearly theirs) and the card she sent with it (revealing the thought process that went into tying colors and patterns all in with Mette Mary – the name -- as well as the experiences I’ve had with her and future hopes for her) brought me to tears. Knowing the hours upon hours that go into things like this made me feel, for a moment, guilty for having another baby that Jill would feel she need make a quilt for; but that feeling dissolved quickly into simply . . . joy and gratitude over the beauty of: friendships, and knowing you are loved, and shared gifts (in both senses of that word).

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Marilyn said...

That Mette and her flower crowns! Where on earth did you…wait a minute, you didn't MAKE them, did you?!? They look like just what a Swedish fairy dancing around the maypole on midsummer's eve would wear (am I mixing my myths?). I know I always say this, but I so admire the…effort? that sounds condescending, but it's meant in an awed sort of tone…that you put into making her cute. (not that she needs it--adorable baby that she is!) I feel like I am so often just doing…anything…with the babies, and with myself too, to be honest. Stuffing them into something stained and thinking, "ah, no one will care" and skipping the headband or the scarf or the bracelet or ANYTHING that might be lost or discarded or (on me) yanked. But it is so darling to see babies that look, I don't know, doted upon. Dressed up. And if you do it with your eight kids I can hardly say it's not possible!

I love the picture of Summer with her bottle and Mette snuggled in beside her, grinning. Such sweet snuggly little babies. Mette looks like she's got some secret joke and I wish she'd let me in on it.

I love to hear your thoughts, however partially developed they are.

Kara said...

I locked myself in my room with a Haagen Dazs bar and your blog post. That's how much I value your thought and insights--no matter how much of a writer's block you may think you have. And now I'm quite curious as to your unwritable current circumstance.... Further, I tooooootally get all these mature thoughts you're tossing around in here. Mentally I want to stomp my foot and refuse to go any further in this mess of a beautiful life. But in the same thought I know that path is not the way. Canadian high five to you sister!

Shannon said...

Those flower headbands and dresses! That Maxwell quote! That quilt! Oh my! I loved this post. I love you so dearly!

Nancy said...

Oh dear, Marilyn, after all your kindness, I must admit that the effort is an illusion. The mom of one of Daisy's friends, apparently, was hired to take pictures of someone's hair things for advertising or something. I guess she got to keep them and had more than she knew what to do with, so she brought us over a box of like 100 hair things. As darling as they all are, they seem scratchy to force on Mette for regular wear (and Summer demands them on and pulls them off again at her whim) so I usually only use them for things like church. However . . . I often toss one on their heads for a picture. There it's out. Those bows and flowers are usually off a moment later. The profile picture of Penny with her messy day old braid is a more fair representation of things around here. BUT, let's talk about your cute girls and how they are so often running about in adorable little dresses!

Nancy said...

Oh Kara, I love you for always making me feel so validated in my thoughts. And yes, I keep thinking of Pres. Kimball asking the Lord to give him "this mountain". I don't suppose I'll ever ask for trials, but, as you said, I'm starting to learn that digging my heels in isn't a way on any path at all.

Nancy said...

I love you too my little precious, Shan! Thank you!

Marilyn said...

I was just randomly reading this post again and got a good laugh over that pink poodle suit. Why do kids always try to fit into things they don't fit into??

Nancy said...

Haha. I do not know. And Anders makes a regular practice of it.

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