Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mornings...with the Box, Superheroes, Attitudes, and Thankfulness

So do you know what? My two younger boys have had many emotional and attitudinal and relational struggles as of late. In fact, one day this past week my friend Leah stayed for lunchtime when she brought Dietrich home from preschool. And on this short visit she sypathetically exclaimed how crazy Lincoln had been while she was there. I looked at her in surprise and said, "Oh my! He's actually been great since you've been here. The last hour has been the calmest of the day!!" We laughed together at this. And later when I had time to think about it I realized that God has been giving me greater grace to deal with the day to day emotions and conflict of my children. I am finding more stability in my mothering. I read a great post by Rachel Jankovic this week on the importance and power of mothering, homemaking and realized what a perfect match this vocation is for me. I spent 21 years (13 years post-college) actively, intensely trying to find a meaningful vocation and actually moved up here to Minneapolis in a brave, I-turned-30 leap into art school for a second bachelor's degree and a try at making a vocation out of something I loved when - shazam! - I meet The Bradley Johannsen of Des Moines, Iowa. And 10 months later we got married and 9 months and 4 days after that we had Atticus. Since then I've had this guilty, yucky feeling that I cheated. That I never found my true vocation. That I failed the test of those 13 adult years of singleness. But I am just now starting to see what Brad has been telling me all along: that I didn't fail the test. That God knew what He had in store for me. He knew what He wanted me to read, where He wanted me to live, who He wanted me to meet, the conversations He wanted me to have (with others, in my head & heart), all the jobs and wanderings and questions and friendships and loneliness He wanted me to experience. He was preparing me for this. And I don't need to be embarrassed -- as if being a stay at home wife and mother is a consolation prize or the kind of job you do when you don't have any other skills or ambitions or passions or interests. No, no, no! I feel so privileged to have this career. I love the utter meaning of what I am doing. Every job has it's monotony, it's dull stretches, it's hard parts that chaff at your spirit -- but this one is so completely meaningful in all it's repetitive cleaning and folding and straightening and correcting and training and book-reading and nose-wiping. So utterly meaningful and I feel the possibilities and excitement of building up these four children and having our family, our home being a place to love and know our neighbors and friends and strangers and spilling over into the lives each of my children who will increasingly have their own circles of loving and knowing others and doing things that are worth doing. I still have spinning myriads of ideas and dreams of beautiful, true things I want to sew and draw and construct and make but it is part of and out from this solid, central place of caring for and knowing and loving these 4 little ones and Bradley. Instead of finally finding my vocation, I was being prepared for it all along and now finally here I am in the thick of it. Hallelujah and Amen.

This kid's face is incredible. Oh I love him.

Oh yeah.

I know you all wish you had one like this...but there's only one, only one Lincoln Carver.
Thea Belle got up on the couch and pointed to the camera and did this pose. Ha!!


Yeah, I think your concern is warranted, Thea Belle...

p.s. so today I found out Thea had all 4 molars show up sometime in the last two weeks -- poor kid, I didn't even know...

Almost 15 Months

My Men

I love being married to Brad for a million reasons. One of them is walking in finding this going on.

The Boys Gots Style

These are the outfits the boys chose for Sunday morning.

(I promise that's all costumes in the corner there -- really! And the cardboard box is from the kitchen vent -- their favorite toy the last couple weeks!)

Venting with the Animals

So two weekends ago there was a whole lotta this going on in our kitchen. My wonderful mother- and father-in-law took Atticus and Dietrich to Des Moines for a weekend sleepover. Brad installed our new oven vent (pictures to come -- still getting the drywall mudding just right...). I took Lincoln and Thea Belle to the big zoo. It was so fun with just the two of them -- going their pace, seeing what they wanted to see and zooming in circles through the crowds.
Just one more picture of this because that man of mine is so darn manly using power tools...

To Lincoln's utter amazement Diego was at the zoo. Diego!! And he was liberally handing out hugs. Lincoln talked about this moment for days afterwards. He would hush his voice and widen his eyes in sheer disbelief that such a thing would happen. I never know what to do with kids' celebrity cartoons (we rarely watch any of them and they aren't allowed to wear clothing with them on it) but it was pretty hard not to love the schmoe who planned for this guy to be at the zoo on a Saturday morning.

Lincoln so serious...This is a big deal.

Pretty Thea illegally picking tropical vegetation(-: