Friday, October 21, 2011

Flashback Friday

For the last couple of months I have been telling E that we need to have family photos taken again. With The Athlete in braces and The Princess in her own world I feel our time with them slipping away.  I feel it all the way into my heart.

He has an internal countdown clock that is tabulating the days, hours and minutes until he is 10.  Double digits are ruling his world right now.  I have no idea what he thinks is going to happen on that fateful day in February but turning 10 is everything to him right now.

We haven't tried lately, but I don't imagine he'd be all that willing right now to put on a white button down shirt and spend the whole afternoon looking at shells and rocks with his parents and his sister.  I could be wrong.  He does have a heart of gold. 

I will always think he's the most darling six year old boy that ever, ever lived.  I think he's holding a Matchbox car that he snuck to the photo session in his pocket.  I love that.

The Princess is seven this year going on 17.  Her could care less attitude crushes me and I just want better for her.  I personally get a kick out of her inability to be destroyed by pettiness, but I want her to temper her sassy with sweet.

She is a talented and fierce soccer player.  Her teacher told me yesterday that she reads 64 words a minute.  WOW!  I am so proud of her and intermittently terrified for her that I can't even organize my thoughts around it sometimes.

I miss this little wafer of a girl that looks so pretty with a blue bow in her hair.  She may have been complaining just then that the sand was cold on her toes.  That sounds just like what her four year old self would have said.

We paid for photos that day through a school fundraiser and spent another hour or so goofing around and taking photos on our own.  The sun was shining on my precious children directly from heaven.  I love how golden her hair shined.  The sky was bluer than it should have been in October and the green moss on those rocks isn't any more spectacular in photos.  All of it was pretty stunning that day.  The most beautiful thing though was them.  That day will never happen again, but I am blessed that it happened once in my lifetime.

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child.  There are seven million.  ~Walt Streightiff

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love Connection

Sometimes I would go to the office late and we'd steal an hour for breakfast and a chat.  We'd use a free Friday night to hire a sitter and have a casual dinner before a movie.  We knew what was up with the kids and each other and we were CONNECTED.
That was before fall.

He's coaching a baseball team.  Soccer practice and games take Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.  Fourth grade is harder than we all expected.  My days of slipping  into the office a little late are over.

If you ask me how he's doing all I can say to you is "he is wonderful".  And he is.

He is a wonderful Dad.

He is a wonderful Coach.

I'm honestly not sure right now if he is DOING wonderful, but he IS a wonderful man.

We had a chance over the weekend to spend a little time together and it was nice.  We inevitably talked about family and deadlines and the stresses of impending adolescence, but we talked.  We held hands on the sidewalk on the way to the restaurant.  We weren't just their parents or the coach and the team mom.  We were Mr & Mrs M.  Just us trying to connect.

And I told him that above everything else that is piling onto our shoulders right now I am grateful for him.  I am grateful that we are happy.  I am so lucky he is mine.

I am pouring my heart out with Shell today about how blessed I feel to be in a happy marriage with my E.  When we've done all we can do for our children and we send them into the world the only thing we'll have left is each other. That will be wonderful.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Flashback Friday

We're rolling into anothe jam packed weekend and I am feeling a little misty eyed about how big my babies are getting.    Our weekend will be full of soccer and baseball with a birthday party and basketball tryouts wedged in for good measure.  Basketball season is always my favorite and it kills me to realize that this photo was only two seasons ago. 

My {almost} ten year old athlete was just seven turning eight and his little sis was only five.  He was still missing two front teeth and a long way from braces and the head gear that has made him cry at bedtime this week.  She was so teeny tiny and would still let me dress her in team gear with a hair bow to match.  Boy are those days OVER!!!

Happy Friday, friends.  Hold on tight.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Evolution of the Animals

Once upon a time we had two dogs.  Our big boy, Kramer and his sister, Kate.  It was simple.

They coexisted like all siblings do.  Sometimes they ignored each other.  Sometimes they couldn't get enough of each other.  Just like any brother and sister.  They slept late.  They ate brunch together.  They slept some more.  Sometimes they played.

On Labor Day we said goodbye to our dear old man at the age of 15.

It broke our hearts into pieces.

E and I were parents to a wild and crazy boy long before I gave birth to a wild and crazy boy.  We loved him so very much and it hurt a lot to say goodbye.

Suddenly his sister had to go everywhere with us because she was heart broken, too.

She has been with us since she was a tiny pup and had never been without her brother.  We decided to start contacting rescues to look for another sibling for her.

We met Mia

The Athlete fell in love with Drake

We played with Nevaeh and talked about Hershee

Then sweet little Lucky that we know well needed a home.  She's living at our home for a while.

Almost immediately we got a wonderful opportunity to foster two pups and get to know them.
Kayla and Kona came to our house, too

In less than a week we went from one sad dog to FOUR dogs.
That might be too many.
Someone has not been thrilled with our choices.

We had to make a decision and we decided that we can keep one darling dog.

We chose Hope (aka Kayla)

She is getting a lot of attention and love

We will need to find a calm, quiet home for Lucky {everything our house is not!!!}, and Kona is living here until his rescue finds just the right home for him.

On our journey to find a new four legged friend, we've met a lot of really wonderful people who are committing lots of time and love to animals in need.  If you or someone you know is looking for a pet, please encourage them to contact a local rescue.  Their volunteers are such kind people and there are some very special pets that don't need anything besides the love of a family.  We submitted applications to three rescue groups in Southern California and there are rescues all over the US.

Adopt - Don't Shop!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How Do You Give??

The sun was too warm for an October afternoon. The sidewalk was only a few blocks from the beach, but this gentleman hadn't been anywhere near water for quite some time. He was wearing too many clothes for the heat but I suspected that it might have been his only clothes and wearing them was easier than carrying them. He clearly needed help but I couldn't decide what to do.

Why is that so hard? Why has the world become so dark and intense that I am afraid to give? I am convinced that any dollar given will go straight to an awful habit that I'm not willing to support. But my children are watching me walk straight by. They see me wishing to help and turning a blind eye anyway.

The Athlete was picking up a snack before an afternoon appointment and our time was limited. I asked him to pick up two of everything he was getting. A bottle of water, a bag of chips and a chunk of cheese.

The gentleman had finished the bag of chips before we even had seat belts on. I was struggling with the next step and I heard him from the back seat

"thank you for buying food for that man, Mom. He probably doesn't have someone to love him like you love me."

My heart broke and burst with pride in the same moment. I fundamentally know that giving anything is better than giving nothing, but often I don't. That day I got it right but that doesn't always happen. If I gave to everyone what would be left? Who needs it the most?

My heart is always in the right place, but I just never know exactly how to follow through on it. I want my children to grow up understanding the importance of charity, but never overlooking the significance of giving from the heart. I want them to know how to give.

How do you give?


Only money to pre-designated organizations?

To every one that crosses your path and needs help?

I am a terrible cluster of all of them and wish I knew if there was one right answer.

I found this sweet quote today - food for thought.

We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers. ~Seneca

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Flashback Friday

This weekend marks the tenth birthday of one of the sweetest girls I know.  She arrived less than a month after 9.11 and her middle name is Hope because her Mama saw her as hope for peace and happiness in the world.

She is.

She was born with this crazy pile of curly hair that her Grandma used to blow dry after baths.
She was uncommonly sweet and easy to care for as a baby.

She is six monthes older than the Athlete and is his constant sidekick at family events.
Birthdays, Easter, Christmas, parties because the sun is shining . . .
Those two are always side by side



She might even be cuter when she is hanging out with my guy :)

She is beautiful inside and out.

She is a kind and generous sister, cousin, niece and granddaughter.

She is smart and polite.
She is a great soccer player.

She is going to be ten this weekend and we are so blessed to have her in our family.

Happy Birthday, beautiful girl.
You are hope for the future

Monday, October 3, 2011

Greater Than One

The post that is rattling around in my head should really be three {or four} posts.  Big, well written posts.  There is nothing sparkly or fluffy about what's going on around here lately.

There's the passing of our precious old dog and how we're working through that.  The kids are doing better than E and me, but all of us are feeling it in different ways.  He was such a big part of our family.

We're also focused pretty heavily on a new canine companion for our sweet doggie girl who has never been alone a day in her life and was suddenly left without her friend. She is needy by nature and her loneliness is not helping.

A lot of soul searching happens with us {E and me} when we are making big decisions.  It is surely a  good thing that we don't take those things lightly, but on some levels it just makes everything more complex and cumbersome.  Making decisions based on ALL the facts and how we feel about every facet of it is a little outside of my expertise, but it certainly is enlightening and encouraging to be truly honest.  A dog is a big deal in our house.  As is where we think we'll be living six years from now and whether or not we're making sound decisions for our family.

Definitely more than one post.

At the heart of those matters, and the one that means more to us than anything, is setting positive examples for our children.  In handling grief, to making decisions that will impact us for much longer than it takes for the puppy to make them giggle and lick their faces all the way to treating everyone the way we want to be treated - they are taking their lead from us.  All day.  Every day.  It exhausts me and if I'm not always feeling like it's the privilege that it truly is I could be given to complaining.  And a perfect post popped into my inbox that is the loveliest reminder of the way it should be.

KC at Sanctified Pearl wrote about replacing complaints with thankfulness.  Her sentiment is so lovely and so timely.  I wanted to share her beautiful words with you and the scripture that she references.

“Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you.”
Philippians 2:14 – 15a

May you be blessed the way that I was with KC's wisdom and have a renewed sense of gratitude and enpowerment in your heart to share.


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