Friday, November 18, 2016

Just You Wait


November 18, 2013. Three years ago, on this very day, I took a pregnancy test and discovered I was expecting our little Summer. (Recorded in this blog post.)


It felt like such a tremendous thing -- enormous and happy and big. But I had no idea just how big. No idea that it was the beginning of creating not just one little body, but a quick succession of three. I had no idea that by November 18, 2016 I would have not only completed that pregnancy but nearly two others. Even if I'd suspected our plans would change and we'd decide she wasn't our last -- how could I have ever guessed that three this quickly was a possibility? How could I have known the wild years of tears and prayers and unexpected answers and changed plans and marvelous new HUMAN BEINGS that were ahead for me?


It's always a funny feeling being able to look back on past versions of myself and shake my head at what that old me didn't know. It's hard not to feel a bit smugly superior to poor, unknowing, past me. "Oh just you wait!" I want to laugh to that old self. "You haven't the slightest idea what's really ahead!" Of course, present me is rather quickly humbled when she considers that, very likely, a future version of myself will look back at the current me and think the exact same thing. "Just you wait," I know she'll want to say. "You have no idea what is really ahead!"

Photo Nov 15, 9 20 22 AMPhoto Nov 16, 5 09 19 AMPhoto Nov 16, 5 09 43 AMPhoto Nov 16, 5 05 01 AM

It's both frightening and . . . pretty exciting. Exciting because, while I know lots of it will be exhausting, hard, and full of sorrow. I also know that it will all be for my good; that much of it will be full of unbelievable happiness and unexpected joys, and that all of it will be better, in the end, than whatever little courses I might have plotted for myself. And it's exciting because, while it is unknown to me, I feel that I did know it once. That I prepared for it and accepted it. Eagerly. And I trust that not one bit of it is unknown to my Heavenly Father. "Just you wait." I can almost hear him saying. And, when it's Him saying it, I feel perfectly ready to plunge headlong into it all. 


Friday, November 11, 2016

Open Windows and Babies Coming (Well, Bab-y, not . . . ies)

It’s mid-November and during a good portion of most days I still have our windows open. November, and open windows! Admittedly, my children keep whimpering that they are cold; and, even Mike (a hearty fellow if ever there was one) asked me last night why I was trying to freeze him to death. But! I’m like . . . 100 years pregnant. Cold doesn’t exist for me. And if November is going to keep offering 60 degree highs then, by darn it, there will be some open windows! (Mind you I would like at least one big snowfall before December. I can’t quite reconcile open windows with Christmas music, and Christmas music is something I am greedily looking forward to [and don’t think for a minute I am counting all these recital songs my kids keep practicing – they’ve had to practice, I know, but I’ve tried my best to pretend they haven’t been playing Christmas songs so innapropriately early].)

Photo Oct 23, 9 07 09 PMPhoto Oct 24, 8 48 40 AMPhoto Oct 24, 12 26 12 PM

I’ve only got nine weeks left in this pregnancy. I’ve felt more-than-usual worn out by the babies I already have of late. The fall time change combined with Mette transitioning, rather poorly, to one nap a day, has made for some long, needy and cry-filled hours; and, at times, I wonder if that dear, typically cheery, little soul might ever truly be content again, or even momentarily interested in any toy or self-entertaining device in the universe. (That isn’t completely fair though. She does love to occasionally crawl around with one family member or anothers’ shoes on her hands. And she finds emptying garbage cans or pulling everything from cupboards at least . . . partially satisfying.)

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Still, for all of that, I can’t help but be anxious for this new baby’s arrival. For so long these expected babies seem a good part . . . imagination. I so rarely can pin them down into a concrete being. Despite the anxiety and fear over the difficulties and juggling I see ahead, I can’t stop feeling excited for that miraculous moment when this idea will become, quite suddenly, a concrete and tangible reality. My son.

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Anywho . . . that’s all I’ve got for now. Over and out.

Photo Oct 14, 4 19 30 AM (1)Photo Oct 07, 10 22 03 AMPhoto Oct 23, 12 52 26 PM

A Place to Center


There is nothing quite like the months leading up to one of our presidential elections to utterly exhaust ones faith in the common threads that bind humanity. I believe still that we are far more similar than different, and even that there is typically common truth, light and goodness at the root of most of the conclusions and opinions we all develop; that it is simply our individual experience that accounts for how those good things end up manifesting themselves in such extreme variations of opinion; but the near-constant barrage of those seeming differences during times like this strain and tax those certainties of similar bases and common threads rather fiercely.

It is a relief to me to be able to step aside, hunker down a bit, regain my footing, and refocus my center. And there is no better place for me to do that than in the midst of my own tiny sphere and world. After all, it is here where I can most easily look for hope, spread light, and be reminded of the strength of love.  


We spent last weekend up at Bear Lake. The older four ventured off with Mike to shoot clay pigeons (which, your tender hearts should all know, are not “pigeons” at all . . . nor even shaped remotely like pigeons – so, that is a comfort). The boys played Monopoly – placing hotels wherever it suited them and handing out bank money with abandon. Lots of Lego creations were . . . well . . . created. And we went on a small hike wherein, not far from the start, a man waved us wildly down to protest over our proposed evening walk. When we questioned if this was not, as we’d understood it to be, Forest Service land. He faltered – conceding, awkwardly, that it was public land, but, he insisted it was a horse trail, not . . . a people trail. While I didn’t see how our family stroll was any of his particular business, patient Mike calmly reassured him that we’d taken horses on the very trail before, knew it well, would exercise great caution, and had no . . . ill intentions (after all . . . we had no six packs of beer, no cans of spray paint, no weapons, and . . . most of our party was under the age of 12). Still, he seemed in great agitation over letting us press on. Perhaps, it occurred to me later, it was mearly agitation over what he suspected would end up thickly coating the bottoms of all of our shoes. If so, his worried suspicions on our behalf were proven correct. On all counts.


Perhaps it doesn’t sound exactly like centering, but . . . it feels like it. My self. My God. And these people – even on a manure covered horse trail – they will always be the surest and safest place for me to find perspective, strengthen my resolves to be compassionate and good, and to begin fresh. Again.


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mothering Wisdom or . . . Laziness

This morning, Anders got a sucker stuck in Mette’s hair. He yanked it out – causing her to wail. Loudly. But, as I questioned what had happened, he assured me all was well. “She’s not crying any more,” he pointed out; then, looking at her sucker-stained, blue face, and her spiked-up, sucker-pulled hair he added (with a shrug), “She just . . . looks like a goblin beast.”

All’s well that ends well I suppose.

I’ve noticed, of late, that there are quite a few areas where I have become fairly apathetic in my mothering. I might, I suppose, spin it as having gained a few years of motherly maturity and perspective.

I’ve been around long enough, I could argue, to know that a toddler drinking a bottle long past age two, a needed child bath delayed another day due to late nights and family busyness, or a week off of a proper nap-schedule really doesn’t matter much. I could shake my head over the silliness of the parenting techniques the 26-year-old, mother-of-two version of myself would have balked at.

But . . . the truth is . . . it still boils down, fairly often, to simple laziness. I’ve got a lot of little kids. And I’ve had babies or been pregnant for several years in a row of late (in fact, if this little boy were to show up two weeks early, I’d have had babies in 2014, 2015 and 2016!). Sometimes, I simply don’t have the will or even the desire to change anything about things like . . . two of my youngest eating Halloween candy for breakfast while throwing scraps to their baby sister on the floor (and, apparently, landing some of those scraps . . . in her hair).

Sigh. Shrug. Eh. They’ll still turn out all right.

After all, they still get to carve pumpkins.


And wear costumes.


And make cut-out-cookies. (Thank you for overseeing that, Goldie!)


They should be just fine.

Or . . . fine enough.


In other news. Abe. What on earth? He is nearly, though not quite, 16. That doesn’t sound much older than 14 to me. But somehow, between 14 and 16 he’s completely changed! At 14, just two measly years ago, there were still plenty of lingering traces of boyhood. They’ve all but vanished in this short span of two years.

2014 Abe:


2016 Abe:


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