Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thank you, Mom...

Thea Belle loves her new Twirly Dress (as she calls it). That was very sweet of you (-:

Preschool Graduation Program!

Last Friday Lincoln and Dietrich had their end of the year preschool program at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Preschool. Brad came over from work to join us. Lincoln will be in same preschool but with Thea Belle next year.  Dietrich will begin kindergarten in the fall. He will be in half day at Hale with the same teacher Atticus had.

Lincoln says "Hi!" in the back there...

Children's lesson by the pastor on the verse "Do everything without grumbling or arguing,so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky." Philippians 2:14-15. The theme for the year was shining like stars for Jesus and the pastor gave a simple astronomy lesson on kinds of starts, on our sun being a star and then had the kids sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" with a second verse he wrote for them about Jesus being the Sun that gives us light and power to shine for Him in this life. 

There were five groups of kids who acted out different nursery rhymes/songs. Dietrich and Lincoln did "The Wheels on the Bus". Dietrich was the doors. Lincoln was the windshield wipers (and he didn't hit anyone with them).

The last number was a dance routine with all the kids. It was a high energy song, fully choreographed. The kids did great. I was especially impressed with Dietrich's front-stage knee-spinning breakdance he did at the beginning of the piece. I am not kidding.

I love that Dietrich requested this picture with his brother.

Trip to playground up by the Wildflower Park in Theodore Wirth Park



The egg, bacon and homemade waffle sandwich my husband made me for breakfast Sunday morning. Word.

Tree Climber Guy

Incredibly inviting tree at Lake Harriet...and Deke the Fearless Climber

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Three-Year Vacation

It's been 4 weeks since the Millers moved to Canada...That is so weird...I keep feeling like they are on vacation and soon will return and everything will be back to normal. I think by the time I accept this change, they will have moved back home. I am okay with that. I am realizing in new ways how amazing it was of God to have Leah just be there when I married Brad. I mean, who marries someone and in the first year happily realizes that she married her best friend and met her best girlfriend at the same time. Good job, Brad, for realizing how awesome Leah and Eric were and keeping that friendship alive until I showed up on the scene. It is weird to have theme parties and birthday parties and not have the Millers there. It is weird to have a complicated parenting question or a consumer-decision on some minor household/child item or to get stymied with a daily schedule toss-up and not call Leah and know that if she doesn't have an opinion she will happily come up with one (and have good reasons for it, too). That is the kind of friend she is. I also can't believe I have a whole delicious, hot summer ahead of me and that I won't be meeting her at the beach or playground or or or...Sigh. I will also miss seeing what new enormous earrings she found and had the guts to wear. Or what shape her hair has audaciously taken. But I have facebook and email and texting and digital photos and 3 years to be weirded out until she comes back and I get to know the Miller kids all over again and Brad and Eric try "not scheduling" guy time together and still make it happen. It's gonna be fine.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Seems like there were a lot of moms who had days with their kids on Mother's Day. Well, I had a different kind of wish and different kind of gift. I spent almost two entire days mostly by myself. I didn't go to a retreat or take a vacation away from Minneapolis. I stayed at my house. But for two weekends in a row Brad gave me a break from mothering. And it was exactly what I needed. It's emotionally/intellectually difficult as Mother's Day approaches to feel the reality of your thankfulness for your kids and to know that what you are doing is important, but to feel so stretched and weary and, even, irritated by your children that you would like to just "not be in charge", to not make 17 decisions when you need to buy new underwear for a child, to not have every thought and action interrupted so many times that you can't remember what you were even trying to say or do. To not deal so often with other peoples' bodily fluids and hygiene.

Last week I talked with a mom that I don't know very well while waiting to pick up the two younger boys from preschool. She had always wanted to stay home with her kids-- one of her dreams growing up. And for her first girl she was able to for awhile during the time her husband was overseas in the Iraq War. But now she and her husband both work full-time at Target to pay bills. She told me she stays up until almost 2 every morning to get her chores and housework done. Her and her husband work opposite shifts to work out childcare so they see each other in passing which makes things even harder. That's just one person's story -- and she isn't bitter or despairing about it  -- maybe a little sad, but she's okay with the way things are. And I know her kids feel loved and will most likely be just fine.. What I know is: I am very very blessed to have these kids and to be home with them during this season of their life. And I know that full-well. But it is emotionally and mentally exhausting for me too.

I never realized how much time I have always had alone. I worked retail books for a long time which definitely was heavy on people-interaction but I went home at the end of my shift. And I even lived with my parents and two of my siblings for a number of years as an adult, but there was always a room to myself, and furthermore I wasn't "in charge" -- I could help out but I could also slip away to be by myself. To process things. To read. To work on a project in silence. As the kids grow out of naps and as their needs for conversation and more complex relationship-interaction grow, my opportunities for solitude and quiet-space continue to shrink. I am trying to find ways to work this need into my normal routine so that I don't become resentful of the kids, so that I can continue to process life, so that I have more to give the kids when I am with them. 

I know with our decision to have the kids in public school, there is coming a day, soon, when I will have that kind of space regularly, and it will be very different. Until then, I have a kind and wise husband who gives me space to be alone. And sometimes he forces it on me. And I am grateful. Grateful for a chance to catch my breath and return to mothering a little stronger and with a little more grace.

p.s. That is my actual bike -- Isn't it pretty? Brad gave it to me as a birthday present a couple years ago to celebrate the end of my child-bearing adventures. The perfect-for-me bike basket is from my mom and dad a couple Christmases ago. Yay!

Walk About After the Spring Storm

Spring Wardrobe: Part 2A

This is a simple sundress with a pattern I made up awhile ago (and just keep making a bit bigger). The fabric is from an Urban Outfitter curtain panel that I used to make kitchen curtains for Brad when we were dating. The curtains wore out and no longer exist but I had a couple remnants from shortening them that I had stored away. One piece was used to make birth announcements for Dietrich. The other piece became this dress for Thea Belle. I love when pieces of fabric have personal memories/meanings. And I love rainbow-colored songbirds. And sundresses. And this little girl.

Greetings from the Jolly Rancher (Roger?)

(He's eating a jolly rancher in every single one of these photos -- thus the funny bumps and the closed-lips you see...)