Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Last

My friend Courtney recently had her first baby after a five year struggle with infertility. She wrote a very poignant post where she describes knowing that her baby would come. It got me thinking to how I knew as well. I cannot proclaim the same type of faith that Courtney possessed. Many times I lost hope amidst storms of frustration and doubt. But I still knew. I knew this little brown eyed boy would eventually find his way to my arms. I didn't know how he would come to join our family, I just knew that he was coming at some point. Many times this impression I had held hope for me when I had none.

Every now and then I will catch a certain glimpse of that boy in Miles; his eyes or his smile will seem familiar in a way I cannot adequately describe. Mostly though, Miles offers me a sense of peace I did not have before he was born. I often wonder if his birth was pre-ordained for this very specific time in my life. He has brought immeasurable joy to my heart. Many days I find great comfort in the miracle of his birth. He brings a calm assurance that prayers are indeed answered, that my Heavenly Father loves me beyond measure and that trials can be endured.

It isn't that I love Miles more than any of my other children, ....but somehow I am constantly and keenly aware of what a blessing he is to me. I cherish these short days of his babyhood knowing all too well how fast he will grow. Here are 25 things I want to remember about Miles right now:
1) He prefers Tony over anyone. 2) Each morning when I bring him into our bed, if Tony isn't there he says "Da Bok" and signs Bike. Smart little boys that knows his daddy is usually on his bike. 3) He still has his bottle...because he's my baby. 4) He loves all types of fruit..especially strawberries and grapes. 5) The way he sleeps on his stomach with his legs tucked underneath him and his butt in the air. 6) The way he runs everywhere he goes. 7) How he cries whenever his siblings leave the house...he misses them. 8) How he loves my make-up...particularly lip gloss. 9) He signs more, thank you, please, bike, ball, throw, dance, milk, thirsty, imagination, dirty, clean, hurt, car, train, shoes, socks, and get dressed. 10) He says more, Cole, Da(d), Coke, show, hot, hurt, ow, wow, car, shirt, shoes, ba ba (bottle), ball and bok (bike). 11) He likes to flirt and will often cast a sidewards glance at me with his big brown eyes. 12) He loves the water..shower, tub, pool. 13) He loves to play in Daddy's office (poor Tony). 14) He gives high fives, pounds, great hugs and wet kisses on demand. 15) He loves to go...always happy to get in the car and leave. 16) He will NOT sit in his high chair and prefers to eat standing up. 17) He prefers Diet Coke over comment. 18) He has thrown up more in his 20 months of life then my other two children in their combined 20 years of life. 19) He loves to brush his teeth and comb his hair. 20) His favorite show is Signing Time...we are constantly renewing it from the library. I need to just break down and buy it already. 21) He prefers peanut M&M's over plain..hmm. 22) He has discovered how to escape out the front door...even when it's locked. 23) He hides all kind of things in our, beaters, bottles, utensils. 24) He likes to wear everyone's shoes...but hates to wear his own. 25) Right now, at this moment in time, he is my constant companion.
Love this boy. So lucky he belongs to me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Second

Rachel and I spent the last three days up in Park City so she could attend Dance Attack which is a dance convention put on by her dance studio. This year her instructors included Nick Lazzarini, Travis Wall, Cameron Binks and Sabra Johnson from So You Think You Can Dance. Being among these dance stars made three long days of dance seem not so grueling. Rachel had a blast and mastered some very difficult choreography. I was proud of her and ecstatic when she won a $275 scholarship for next years' Dance Attack. Rachel has more talent in her pinky finger than I have in my entire body. She never ceases to amaze me, this child of mine. I texted Tony and told him the news, exclaiming how proud of Rachel I was. His response: "Just remember that the next time you want to beat her." Rachel is the most tenacious little person I have ever encountered. This determination helps her succeed, but also makes her difficult at times....her will is so much stronger than mine. She tests me, this one....but oh how she teaches me.

So this is for you, my lovely dream daughter, 25 things I want to remember about you right now:

1. Each night you complain that it's not fair that you have to sleep alone while Daddy and I get to have a sleepover every night. 2. At eight years old you weigh a whopping 35 pounds. 3. You LOVE chocolate. 4. You set goals and you reach them...often. 5. You're messy, but organized. 6. You HATE being late. 7. You're my best eater. 8. I never have to ask you to do your homework. Never. 9. You require very little sleep...much to my chagrin. 10. Your favorite treat is to get a pedicure with mom or grams. 11. Two summer goals accomplished: Back Tuck and Front Aerial. 12. You're working hard to perfect your triple pirouette. 13. You have enough confidence to call Corbin Bleu on his cell phone and chat him up. 14. You love to bathe with Miles. 15. You are always up for a bike ride with Daddy. 16. You eat a bowl of ice cream every night. 17. You have a tender heart. Last week when I was shedding a few tears about Grandpa you asked me if I wanted to talk about it with you. 18. You can do this weird stomach roll thing. 19. You are happiest when you are don't like a lot of down time. 20. You always volunteer to shuck the corn and to lick the beaters. 21. You worry more than an eight year old should. 22. Before you make a phone call or leave a message, you practice what you are going to say. 23. You are constantly, constantly in motion...dancing, tumbling, twirling, talking. 24. You like to fall asleep in my bed (see #1 above). 25. Right now, at this moment, you are my most independent child.

So much to love in such a small package.

Thanks for teaching me how to be your mom Miss Rachel.



Thursday, July 17, 2008

The First

On Wednesday, I woke up at 5 am to drive Cole to Scout Camp in Franklin, Idaho. Both of us had gone to bed very late the night before and neither of us had slept very well. I expected him to be grouchy as I woke him in the pre-dawn darkness. But as I went downstairs I found him up and showering. He quickly fell asleep once we were on the road and I was left to my own devices for entertainment on the two and a half hour drive.

Much to my delight, he woke up when we hit Logan, just in time to share breakfast at McDonalds and a Diet Coke.

It isn't often when I get two hours of pure peace and quiet to myself, alone with my own thoughts and the time to actually process and organize my feelings. I honestly didn't mind the long drive, but I was surprised at how happy I was to have Cole's company once he woke up and climbed into the front seat.

He chatted on and on about his recent experience at lacrosse camp. He cracked a few jokes and marveled at how beautiful our surroundings were. Just as we pulled into camp he said "Mom, we need to go on a road trip. Just you and I". And honestly, there is nothing I would like better than more alone time with Cole in the car. I count this boy as one of my closest friends. I have missed him this week. A LOT.

In those hours before he woke up, my thoughts were consumed with each of my three children: their personalities, their unique needs and talents, their challenges and how I could better mother each of them. Moreso, I was struck with how blessed I feel to be their mother. I probably blog too much about my children. But the truth is I feel so honored to be a mother. I appreciate it so much more for having struggled to become pregnant with Miles. But particularly, I know it is their tender spirits which are carrying me through. How I love them. As I counted the miles, I also counted so many things I adore about each of my children right now, at this moment in time. So here it is...25 things I want to remember about Cole:

1. Your tender concern for your cousin Riley. 2. The way you include Miles. 3. You love popcorn with extra salt. 4. You invited a boy to eat lunch with you at Golf camp when you noticed he was all alone. 5. The way you celebrate on the field when you score a goal. 6. The way you call dad Fasja. 6. The way you lolligag in the morning...too busy listening to music to get ready. 7. How you still sleep with a stuffed animal or two. 8. Constantly changing the radio station while we are in the car. 9. How you ask permission to swear on occassion. 10. Taking the higher road in scouting...showing integrity, even though it wasn't the easy way out. 11. Showing kindness and concern for your grams. 12. Telling me I look hot everytime I wear heels. 13. You are easily the most affectionate member of our family. 14. You're razor sharp quick wit. 15. The way you need your down time, your personal much like your mama. 16. You drink soda straight from the can...even if it's warm (yuck). 17. How you love, love, love onion rings from Apollo Burger. 18. Telling girls "I'm done talking now." when you want to get off the phone (it makes me laugh, but we probably ought to work on that one.) 19. You always notice when I get my hair done. 20. You don't complain about working in the yard with dad. 21. You always wake up happy and still want to be tucked in at night. 22. You have a strong moral compass...always have, hope you always will. 23. You love to crawl into my bed and watch Jon and Kate plus Eight. 24. Golf is your new passion this summer. 25. Right now, at this moment in time, you are my easiest child.

I lubba lubba lubba you Coley.

Blank Pages

It happened again today. I was talking to a friend this morning and she mentioned to me that an acquaintance of ours had stumbled upon my blog and had called my friend to see how I was doing. It felt weird. Not weird because someone I know is reading my blog, but weird because I never know just who is out there reading my blog. After all, there is a lot of personal stuff on my blog. It's happened other times as well...people at my church will tell me they read my blog or someone will ask about something that I wrote about. It always makes me stop for a minute and catch my breath. Certainly I don't know everyone who reads my blog and that's okay. But sometimes, I admit, I wish I knew my audience better, I wish I knew who is quietly, anonymously, reading my story. I wish those people who read would just leave a comment, de-lurk or something. It's the not knowing that I guess gets to me a little bit.

I've often thought about taking my blog private, but that doesn't feel right either. I have made some amazing friends through the blog world and have been touched by so many other blogs that I read, that I feel selfish in not sharing my journey.

Which brings me to this day. I have so many thoughts whirling around in my head. So many words dancing in my brain begging for a place of permanence on paper. And yet...I hesitate. Maybe it's because I don't know who is out there reading my words. Perhaps it is because I don't want my blog to be all gloom and doom as my life is certainly filled with happiness and the perfect brightness of hope. Sometimes, the simple truth is that it's too painful to write it all out.

I have read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer and while I don't think I ever truly understood the mania surrounding those books, there was one moment, in my opinion, of pure literary genious. In the second book, when Bella and Edward broke up, Meyer strategically left several blank pages in the book. I remember smiling as I turned the pages. The feeling of shock, of having no words, felt so familiar to me.

Lately, I have had several weeks of blank pages. Many days of worry and wonder that did not, could not, transcribe themselves accurately into words. But I have also had many many moments of joy this summer and for that I am most grateful.

So I will continue to write my story. It isn't always a pretty picture and sometimes I hesitate to let it all hang out. Writing is therapeutic to me. It helps me remember all that I have in my life that is brilliant and pure and good. So if you're out there, let me know. Drop me a line. I know I have many dark days ahead and I imagine I will weather them a bit easier knowing I have the love and support of all of you, friends and strangers alike.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Just as Pretty on the Inside

For the past three months we have been in a High School Musical frenzy around our house. My darling niece Haylee was chosen as one of the principal dancers in the film to be released this fall.

We have all had the priviledge of being on set to watch filming, eating dinner at my brother's house with all of the HSM3 stars and getting an up close and personal view into not only the nuances of filming, but the day to day drama of being on a movie set.

I have adored Haylee from the moment she was born as hers was the first birth I ever witnessed. I love having her in my home twice a week, visiting with her over lunch before she drives Rachel to dance for me. I have been amazed at her grace and uncommon maturity as she has dealt with this opportunity. This has been an amazing experience for her and yet she remains the kindest, sweetest, most humble dancer I know......just as pretty on the inside as she is on the outside.

We love you Hay-Hay, and we're oh so very proud.

To read more about Haylee's High School Musical Experience, click here.