Thursday, November 29, 2007

Top Priority

From This

To This

My first miscarriage was in July of 2001. Infertility then consumed my life for five long years. Some day soon I will write my story; some day when the pain of that experience is not so fresh. For though I have the most happy of endings, those feelings of longing for this child are still tangible in my heart.

Last week as I was enjoying my final day of vacation, my brother teased me that he had done more in the past two hours than I would do all day. True that he had already run 5 miles and made a few sales calls while I was happily lounging on the patio in my jammies while feeding my sweet baby.

"Maybe so." I retorted, "But this, holding this baby, feeding this baby, is the most important thing I could be doing."

He knows it is true and so do I.

I don't know if I can adequately articulate the happiness our baby Miles has brought to our lives. I knew him before he was born, and yet, in all of my yearning, in all of the moments I spent envisioning him in our family, I never understood the inexplicable and complete joy he would bring to our home. I have delighted in him. Day in and day out. I have savored each moment of his first year, wanting to relish this precious time.

While I have loved each of my babies, I don't know if I fully appreciated them or enjoyed them in quite the same way as I have Miles. I wake up every day, every day, feeling transcedently blessed. I have a sense of reverent, radiant gratitude that is sweeter for having experienced its opposite.

Happy First Birthday my Darling Baby. It's been an amazing adventure.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

On Thanksgiving is not JOY that makes us GRATEFUL;
it is GRATITUDE that makes us JOYFUL.
Brother David Steindl-Rast
I stand in awe at the abundance of blessings which fill my life. Not the least of which is my amazing family who I will be sharing the Holiday with in Palm Desert.
Until Then...In Everything give Thanks.

Simply You

The way you like things 'Just So'
The way your blue eyes Sparkle
The way you Twirl and Cartwheel instead of Walk
The way you sleep with a Water Bottle
The way your Laughter fills our home with Music
The way you sing to yourself in the Shower
The way you Must have a bowl of Ice Cream before Bed
The way you leave Love Notes
The way you Take Care of each of Us
Simply You
Happy Birthday Sweetest Girl!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

First Kiss

Long before Miles was born, his bedroom sat empty in our home. I have always felt it was the best room in the house. Two of its' walls are flanked with large windows, allowing an abundance of light to fill the room.

I remember so vividly walking into that room on many occassions when I needed a boost from the woes of infertility. Somehow the open space, the calm, golden toned paint of the walls, the very energy of the sun streaming in, seemed to soothe me. It became a sort of sanctuary for me. It gave me hope when I had none.

As I was designing the nursery to fill those sacred walls, I knew I wanted an overstuffed chair to tuck in the corner by the window. A place where I could sit to rock and enjoy my precious baby.

Each morning, while the house is still quiet, with the exception of sweet babbling from my baby Miles, I take a moment to curl up in my chair and cuddle with my little one. There is something magical about those few minutes together. We have yet to wipe the sleep completely from our eyes; our bodies still warm from the covers and my mind still uncluttered and at rest. While the rest of the world is sleeping, before the sun creeps across the horizon, we sit, and greet the morning together.

This morning was no different. I opened the shutters and showed Miles the frost glistening on the grass outside. We sat and played pat-a-cake. He giggled. He wiggled on my lap and kept reaching for my face. I drew him close to me and told him to give me a kiss. And he did! It was open-mouthed and wet. Yet it was quick and purposeful. He knew exactly what he was doing. But just to be sure I wasn't dreaming, I asked him over and over again to kiss me. And he complied, time and time again. Truly, there is nothing sweeter than the first displays of affection bestowed upon you by your baby. What a beautiful way to start the day.

In this the season of gratitude, I find my heart full of thanksgiving for so many things, so many blessings I enjoy. But today, I am most grateful for the miraculous gift of baby Miles. I am grateful for perfect, exquisite moments such as this, where I am reminded how priviledged I am, how blessed I am, to be a mother.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Just Keep Swimming

I have this little voice in my head that sounds remarkably like Dori, the clown fish from Disney's Finding Nemo. I love the part in that movie when Dori is in the water amongst several sharks and is frightened. To keep herself steady and focused, she sings over and over "just keep swimming, swimming, swimming; just keep swimming....".

Sometimes I feel like that little clown fish, swimming in the dark, being bounced from wave to wave, alone and afraid. Sometimes the only thing I can do is put a smile on my face and just keep swimming.

Last night I was reading in preparation for my RS lesson and I came across this story:

"Agnes Caldwell and her family traveled with the Willie handcart company and suffered terrible hardships with the others. When the rescue wagons came, they took on all the infirm and those who could walk no farther, but the able-bodied still had to press forward on foot. Nine year old Agnes and some of the other children decided to try to keep up with the wagons in hopes of being offered a ride. Sure enough, after a time one of the drivers asked her if she'd like to ride with him, an invitation she gratefully accepted. As she tells the story:

'At this he reached over, taking my hand, clucking to his horses to make me run, with legs that seemed to me could run no farther. On we went, to what to me seemed miles. What went through my head at that time was that he was the meanest man that ever lived or that I had ever heard of.'

I've tried to imagine this scene: I've pictured a little girl who had given everything she knew how to give for a cause she had been taught was dearer than life itself. I've wondered how it must have felt to finally be offered some relief and then have it just as suddenly withdrawn.

Agnes continues: 'Just at what seemed the breaking point, he stopped. Taking a blanket, he wrapped me up and lay me in the bottom of the wagon, warm and comfortable. Here I had time to change my mind, as I surely did, knowing full well by doing this, he saved me from freezing when taken into the wagon.'"

I smiled when I read this story thinking of all of the "running beside the wagon" moments I have had in the past few years. I too, have given all that I have to give, ready to collapse at times from the sheer exhaustion of it all. I try to remember the promise the Lord has made to lift us up and yet I often find myself frustrated, wondering why He doesn't just pull me into the wagon.

Maybe He is as the wagon driver. Maybe I am like Agnes, not fully aware of how He is trying to save me. I need to remember that He knows what I can bear and that my trials will not exceed my capacity. Perhaps, if I continue to hold on for just one more moment; if I keep putting one foot in front of the other; if I can just keep swimming, how great will be my reward.

"I have to trust that the Lord knows what he is doing with my life, even in those hard moments when I can't possibly see what he has in mind."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Friday, November 2, 2007

My Better Half

Every now and then the sound of your voice carries up the stairs and I find comfort in remembering that you are just a few steps away if I should need you.

Every now and then I catch a glimpse of you loving on our little ones and playing with the reckless abandon of a child, and it makes me smile.

Every once in awhile I find your arms around me because you sense that I need it.

Sometimes I find an email in my inbox or a text message on my phone, for no other reason than just to say I love you.

Most of the time I get too busy to acknowledge how blessed I feel to have you in my life. I fail to tell you how the little things you do make me happy; how you, more than anyone, can turn my day around because of who you are and how you treat me.

So today, you should know that you make my heart pound. You should know that I am grateful every day that you were born, and that you are such an important part of me.

Happy, Happy Birthday!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Yesterday was a great day. Rachel and I spent the morning in the kitchen cooking. "It feels like Christmas!" she kept saying.

Last year on Halloween I had been put down on bed rest. I was nursing a horrific kidney infection, having mild contractions and battling toxemia. I didn't make halloween cookies, I didn't make dinner for my family, I didn't help them carve pumpkins or go trick or treating. Basically I just sat on the couch and felt sorry for my self. Oh and I passed a very large kidney stone. I did do that last Halloween.

What a difference a year makes.

This year, twilight found my children running around the backyard in the almost balmy temperature, and jumping on the trampoline in their costumes. Baby Miles giggled every time he caught his reflection in the mirror. We shared dinner with well loved family and friends. The house was a bustle of activity all night. Clam chowder, carmel apples and chocolate popcorn for twenty. And one bowl of Spaghettios.....for Tony, we ran out of soup....sorry Babe.

I love having people in my home, gathered around my table. I love hearing my mom's laugh at Boo's funny stories. I love that Jamie stopped in to drop something off, and ended up staying for an extra hour, forgetting his car was idling in the driveway.

We ended the evening with the kids sorting through and trading their candy. I am the lucky recipient of all of their tootsie rolls. Then Tony donned his fairy wings and tutu for the 1st Annual DNA Cycling Haunted Halloween Night Ride.

Sometimes we don't appreciate family traditions or our health until they are taken away from us. I have a renewed love and affection for Halloween after completely missing it last year. It may just have something to do with watching the excitement in Miles' eyes as he takes it all in. Oh, how I love this boy!