Thing 2's Birthday

Today this sweet girl turns 13.  Words could not express how incredibly honored I feel to be her Mama.  From a newborn babe in my arms with wild hair to a strong willed yet extremely sensitive toddler, a determined and empathetic youth and now a bold, free spirited, Jesus loving teenager.  The journey has just begun. 

Thing 2, you turn your head to the normal and go your own way bringing everyone along with you for the ride.  You rise up against injustice, whether it be to a helpless animal, a friend or even a stranger.  Your heart is bigger than life.  I love your squeezes and your silliness and your honesty.  Your work ethic and commitment are something to be admired.  You fall hard and when you do you have quite a flair for the dramatic.  There is never a dull moment with you. 

You have been given a unique perspective on life and the world around you.  May you sieze every opportunity and live sold out to a purpose greater than yourself.

I am so grateful to be your Mama.  I pray this thirteenth year is marked by grace.  May you shine bright Thing 2, I love you, to the moon and back.

Thankful Thursday #70...A day late, AGAIN

* first attempt at paella, it was delish!

643. cloudy days
644. prayers from new friends
645. impromptu date nights
646. sweet kisses from freshly showered Things
647. new book in the mail
648. sharing our days at the dinner table
649. niece talking on the phone to me
650. stapler with bling
651. a new adventure
652. leaves changing color

I Just Don't Know

Within the last few days I have had several people ask me if I was ready.  Of course they are referring to my upcoming trip to Honduras.  I politely answer, "yes, ready and able".  Ok, not really.  I don't know if I'm ready.  I mean how could I be?  I am going to a place I've never been before.  I will be asked to do things I've never done before.  Most certainly I will be way outside my comfort zone.  I mean way out.  How does one prepare for that? 

I have been physically completing tasks around the homestead so that my peeps are taken care of while I'm away.  Meal planning, coordinating rides to and from training, school, etc.  Printing schedules, phone numbers and sending calendar invites to Husband Jared non stop.  His phone might in fact blow up.  Ok, not really.  None of that is terribly important.  I mean, the Things will be loved.  They have a week with their Daddy.  Late nights, easy dinners, old movies, Wii tournaments.  How much fun is that?  Although last time I was away I think he taught them how to play poker.  Maybe I should reconsider.
All that to say I just don't know what I am feeling right now.  Ready or not.  A jumbled mess of emotions and prayerful intentions.  I waiver somewhere between confidence and anxiety.   Sound familar?  It's not a place I am comfortable with, but yet I think this experience may be about that and yet not about me at all.  I struggle with these feelings but there are those that deal with much more.  Maybe I can be of some service to them, even if it is just in being present and putting aside all the ME.

So, here I come.  Ready or not.

I know the One who goes before and for now I will trust in that.

Another First

And without further ado, Thing 1 and Thing 2's first day of highschool and 8th grade, respectively.  Do they not look thrilled in their uniforms?  I must say those are some happy faces.  It probably didn't help that I threatened I would walk into school with my video camera if they didn't smile for their Mama.  Or maybe it did  help.  Anyhow, I think they are absolutely gorgeous, no matter what they are wearing.  I may be partial.  

 Laughing at Mama

And here we have it folks, day one of the 2011-2012 school year!

Thankful Thursday #69...A Day Late

* Turkish sunset from the balcony of our dear friends

633. bike ride with Thing 4 to school
634. cheering for Thing 2's first goal
635. first goal scored for Thing 1
636. Thing 3's excitement for horseback riding
637. Husband Jared's new schedule
638. checking "stuff" off the to do list
639. healthy dinners enjoyed by the entire family
640. flowers from the farmers market
641. sweet tea at the farmers market
642. s'mores with neighbors

Last Night of Summer, First Day of School

So Labor day brought yet another family day, much to our Things' shagrin.  They were none too excited about having to go on a family run.  Albeit at a new location, Lake Calhoun.  Groans and complaints were in full excess.  That was even after a breakfast of fluffy buttermilk pancakes, bacon and eggs.  Who would have thunk?  I guess Husband Jared knew it was coming, but me, I was hopeful.  We headed out despite it all and enjoyed a truly wonderful afternoon together.  A short run around the lake, a quick play at the playground and research involving canoe and kayak rentals.  Fun times. 

After all the excitement surrounding our lake run I was determined to have one last hurrah before it was back to school.  That meant s'mores and a fire.  Then I read that our association does not allow gas grills or fire pits.  Ruined.  Husband Jared reluctantly set out to find a propane grill.  S'mores grill side, that works.  The Things went around busily inviting their friends and lo and behold we had ourselves a quaint s'mores gathering.  More fun times.  We met new neighbors, new kiddos and all had laugh.  Then we reluctantly headed inside before being eaten alive by the mosquitos, and of course to prepare for the ineveitable first day of school that lie ahead of us. 

Thus here we are at the first day of school, this September 2011.  Wow.  Thing 3 entering the 6th grade and Thing 4 into 4th grade.  I can hardly believe it.  Did I blink and miss the last 10 years?  Surely not.  Although last night as we were saying prayers and snuggles I did sense a hint of apprehension from the two of them.  Or was that me holding on to them for dear life and re-living all those dreaded first days?  Oh whew, that was only me.  They were concerned about lunch times, being the new kid, again, and being able to find their way around a rather large campus.  When I left their classrooms this morning with barely a sideways hug and kiss on the cheek I was the only one with tears.  Thankfully.  The two of them walked confidently into the new ready to shine. 
And now for a confession, it is only ten minutes until the bus will drop them off and I am counting the seconds.  I absolutely can not wait to hug their necks and hear all about their days from start to finish.  Who they sat with at lunch, what their schedule is and if anything what they liked least.  I want details.  No head nods or "I dunno's" here.  Let me hear it all!  When they are ready of course.  I'm thinking that might be after our traditional back to school trip for icecream, double scoops.  Please and yes please.


Saturday Husband Jared and I asked our kids to play.  We played a game of LIFE.  Then we rode bikes and skateboards to the park.  There we flew a kite.  We had a family football match.  Polo ran all over with us.  There was laughing and PK competitions and push ups for the losers and more laughing and yes maybe even some crying.  Crying because someone fell, or pushed too hard and lost.  Have I mentioned before how competitive we are?  And then the sweetest words came from Thing 1's lips.  "If we have Pei Wei for dinner we can all watch Sound Of Music together, remember Mama, your favorite movie?"  Why yes.  It sounded so innocent yesterday and now writing it I realize it was just a scam.  Anyhow, I did manage a night off from cooking and cleaning the kitchen.  And I did watch one of my favorite movies with all my Things snuggled around me.  Thing 2 and Thing 3 even allowed me to paint their nails.  What a sweet day.  I am so grateful for those kinda days. 
And for today, for the cloudy, gray skies that may not only be outside but inside as well.  For the apprehension, reluctance, uncertainty that invades our souls.  His mercies are new.  Open arms wide and embrace the gift.  One given freely. 

“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)

Thankful Thursday #68

623. unexpected invitations
624. text messages about football, from Mama friend
625. library visits
626. stormy days at home with Things
627. belly laughs with the family
628. competitiveness
629. anticipation
630. new music
631. smiles
632. books, books and more books