Monday, February 21, 2011

This is the Life!

It is a beautifully quiet day. Days like today are ones I hold close to my heart, tucked away to be enjoyed and savored for always. The girls climbed into bed with me to greet the morning, all snuggles and giggles. They tumbled out into the living room to play as I made eggs and blueberry muffins from scratch. They didn't mind waiting. It was a beautiful daybreak. Sheer curtains billowed and swayed and our neighboring birds welcomed us to the enjoying of it. They danced in the dew while I baked. The girls and I discussed the schedule for the day and when Caiden learned that we were staying home to enjoy each other all day today you would have thought I had announced a trip to Disney. =)

When breakfast had been thoroughly enjoyed, we painted the morning away. While Caiden worked on a paint by number masterpiece, Addison and I made handprint pictures. I kept coming up with other shapes to try because there was something intoxicating about painting those chubby little fingers and pressing them onto the paper to record their precious shape forever. It was surprising how long she stayed focused on that activity. While we were working, we talked about what God created our hands for. "Our hands are not for hitting or grabbing, but for loving and helping." Caiden wanted to know how her hands were loving or helping while she was painting, so we decided that she could love by painting pictures to share with her family. Both sets of Grandparents will be receiving one of these loving creations in the mail. =)

Then back outside to dance in the middle of a leaf storm. So magical. They played and danced and explored while I concocted a fun treat for their lunch picnic. See?

Almond butter and honey sandwiches, banana, peas and apple slices for those who are curious. =)

And then down for a well earned nap while I do lots of laundry! Hi ho, hi ho, it' s off to work I go!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Heart work

I picked up the girls from my Mom's today after work. We were busy sharing all that God has been doing in our lives. Naps were running late. Addison fell asleep in the car and transferred to her bed seamlessly. Caiden hemmed, hawed, stalled and moved s...l...o...w...l...y. Everything I asked of her, she did the opposite. She proclaimed that a nap was not going to happen. I finally placed her in bed myself. She glared at me and when she finally laid down, she kicked off her blanket every time I tucked her in.

"Caiden, I will place this blanket on you one last time and I am leaving so you can sleep. If you choose to kick it off, I will not cover you again, and I will not stay and argue with you. What is your choice?"

Her angry eyes and silence spoke volumes. Such a war going on in her little heart. I smiled at her sadly.

"Your behavior is making Mama sad. All day at work I was excited to come home to you, but you are treating me so unkindly. I hope your naps helps you make better choices and that we can share a happy afternoon."

Kick. Off flies the blanket and her foot makes contact with my cheek. That was unintended, but she kept up the fascade. No repentance. I walked to the door, looked back and said deliberately- because she needed to hear it- "Mama loves you, Caiden."

Ten minutes pass, 15 minutes. All of the odds and ends of a morning away from home are put back into their place. 20 minutes pass. A load of pint-sized laundry goes in the washer and I pray for my little girl. As I sit down to check my email and enjoy a few minutes of rest I hear a wail coming from the end of the hallway. My heart sinks. I had so hoped this wrestling match was over. I run to her to make sure she is unhurt. Her face is red and contorted in pain. She is laying in bed, doubled over a broken heart. I may never forget the look on her face. She was vulnerable, surprised, relieved, sorry. Her arms reached out to her Mama and she squeaks out,

" I feel sorry for how I hurt you Mama. I'm so sorry I was unkind to you. "

I lifted her into my arms and her tiny little arms and legs wrap around me desperately trying to make me see her heart. She kisses me and I taste salt. I kiss it away her tears and thank the Holy Spirit for His work. "Caiden, you know I always love you- to Mars and back. (because we just studied Mars and she knows it would take me a year for that journey) She lets out a long breath and laughs with freedom and love. "I know Mama," she smiles. Quietly we talk about the Holy Spirit pulling on her heart, making it softer and helping her to be sweet. Joyfully I tuck her in and kiss her face. "Jesus is making your heart beautiful Caiden." Her smile is radiant. So is mine.

Monday, February 07, 2011


"MAMA!" Her voice rings out from the silence. Loud. Strong. Clear. My hear lurches inside of me and pounds fast in my ears. Suddenly I become that person again and not just the wife putting her nest back together. "MAMA!"- more urgently this time. Patience does not come naturally to this one. Does it ever come naturally? I wonder. I run down the tile hallway in my stocking feet, slowing as I turn the corner so I do not slip. Slowly I open the door eager to see what I will find. There she is, standing expectantly in her crib, watching for me. Her hair is wild with damp ringlets, her cheeks flushed. "I'm awake!" She announces. I never take this for granted. I am thankful for every "I'm awake". I rush to her and pull her close to me. Sometimes if I arrive in time, I can steal a few minutes of snuggling from her busy day. I am not late. She melts into me and I relax into the glider in her room. How many hours have I spent in this chair! For a few minutes, neither of us speak. Her hand slides up my arm and intertwines itself into my hair. This familiar ritual of comfort. I bury my face in her goose down curls. How is it possible that her hair is still this soft? For a moment I remember how it felt to still be one-she and I. When she was her own person, but such a part of me- hidden from the world, but not to me. Now, in our own way, it is still true. Her chest expands and pushes into mine. So much of my heart now resides on the outside of me. I marvel at this truth. She stirs, and I am not yet ready to let go. I drag my fingers up and down her back, luring her back into my embrace for a few minutes longer. She succumbs for a few more minutes. Finally she pulls away, "I want to play with Mr. Potato Head out there." All of her sentences are stated with such certainty. It will be two years on Friday and already she is so independent. So I purpose to hold these moments close to my heart, all wrapped up in joy and thankfulness.