Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fingers in my hair

My emotions have been running the gamut (did you know the expression "running the gamut" is actually a musical one?  I didn't until recently! Sorry, I'll now suppress the geek in me again! :) ), and it's been rather exhausting, honestly.  Surgery has now been rescheduled for September 28th.  Jon and I head out Sunday, the 25th and will return October 12th.  I'm bracing myself again for the goodbye's we'll have to say again and for the huge and difficult transformation that I'm facing (at least 4 months of eating nothing but blended foods - two of those weeks, nothing but liquid.  Kinda bummed, but trying to be as optimistic as I can about that!  Lots of shakes and smoothies - that's a good thing, right?!  Right?! :) ).  

Anyway, the routine that back to school has forced on us has been good for me.  And now most mornings, I have one-on-one time with this guy.  I've loved it.  I love him.  And he loves me.  And he cracks me up.  

Tonight I laid with him in the dark waiting for him to fall asleep and he threw his arm over my neck and said, "I luf you berry much, Mommy.  You MY big boy."  Yes, I tell him that every night.  :) And then he went on to run his fingers through my hair.  My hair is still falling out in small hand fulls, so I knew it was coming out in his.  But he said it tickled, and giggled, and I didn't care.  I cherished his sweet chubby two-year-old fingers running through and through my hair as his eyes blinked heavily.  

I'm anxious to be past this - to be past missing my kids before I'm even gone.  To know exactly what this is and how it's going to be - good or bad.  And I'll be glad to be home again with my kids and have this all behind me.  

So, the countdown begins again.  25 days until I say goodbye - again- to my kids and fly out.  Until then, I'll be working hard to make them good days together.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Today he's 5!!

My biggest boy turns 5 today!

Five years ago today. I have vivid memories of his much anticipated arrival - which almost didn't happen that day - and the first moments I got to see him.  Jon was smiling so proudly and with tears in his eyes.  I gazed into his sweet new face and was instantly in love and so thankful that God entrusted me with this boy.  Emerson came in and held him gently with a sweet amazement with his tiny feet.  And my joy was full to the brim.

From the beginning he made known that he was strong willed - a strong willed sleeper, a strong willed eater, and a rough and toughness that allows him to stick up for himself (which I am sometimes secretly proud of!).

With that strong will, however, comes a strong and vivid imagination.  His stories literally amaze me sometimes, the complexity, the creativity, and the vividness in which he tells them.  It is easily one of my favorite things about my boy.

I love to watch him play with his sister, using his gentle side (most of the time) when pretending with her every day during their quiet time.  He clings to her and loves her.

Every night he asks Daddy to sleep with him and every night Jon reads with him and lays with him as he dozes off (which, if you know Braeden, is crazy fast!  He falls asleep faster than anyone I've ever known!).

He arises every morning between 5 and 6 and is ready to start the day!

He has such wonder.  Things amaze and interest him and he always wants to know more.  He wants to know all the details.

His favorite food - Mac -n- Cheese.
His favorite color - Orange
His favorite pasttime - Riding his big boy bike
Oh, and he loves to dance lately!
You wouldn't know it, but he can sing, too - pretty darn well!

He LOVES to help me in the kitchen.  He is such a big helper.  And most of the time, I am very thankful for his help.  ;)

I am so thankful for this little boy that God has given me.  He has stretched me and challenged me and shown me a type of mama love that I didn't know I had.

He is full of a rich personality, filled with laughter, and an energy that spills over to those he's with.

I'm so, so blessed to be his Mommy.

Happy Birthday, big boy.  I love you so, so much!  I thank God for you each and every day.  I love seeing you grown and learn every day.  I have dreams of the friendship we'll someday have and the man you will become.  Until then I'm thankful to teach and correct and guide and pray for you each day.

Happy Birthday, Buddy!  I love you, Braeden!

P.S.  Here are some shots from the early birthday party we had for him a few weeks ago.  The theme chose: planets (then he chose power rangers - which I don't even know if he knows what they are - and then he again chose planets, so planets it was.  He knows lots about them, so you should ask him next time you see him!).  :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Farewell, summer vacation!

The last day of summer vacation is meant to be a fun one.  Today we had waffles for breakfast, rode our bikes (a very long way) to a park, pizza for lunch, a visit to our good friends' lemonade stand and oreos for a snack.  Up next?  I'm not sure yet, but we're working on making this last day of summer a full one!
Perhaps some swimming or another bike ride (easily our favorite summer pastime)?

And of all the pictures I took this summer, the ones I caught this morning are some of my favorite.  I think the friendship between my kids was captured well - with one good fight in between that was also, hilariously, captured.  :)

I hope you also had a fantastic summer break, enjoyed your last day of "freedom" (whenever that actually was), and good luck in the upcoming school year!  It seems these first days after summer vacation affect everyone somehow - there's a buzz of excitement and a renewed energy floating around.   I welcome it in.

Farewell summer, we hope we ushered you out well!  Welcome fall and new school adventures.  We're excited to see you!

Does it make me a bad mom if I find this quite hilarious!  Ha!


I'm not sure what the topic of discussion was, but they were both very involved!  :)


I had the honor of taking my first family photos of a family other than my own a few days ago.  They are a beautiful family.  A mom and dad with their two boys who are 15 and 18.  The 18 year old leaves tomorrow to move six states away for college.  His mom has been anticipating this day:  driving her son to the airport, squeezing him one last time and then waving goodbye, sending him into the world on his own.  She knows that he'll come home again soon, he'll be ok, but as she put it - it's the end of an era.

Hearing her words made my heart ache for her - and rejoice with her - as she bravely lets go of her little boy, knowing that God has brought him and their family and her job as mom to this point.

It brings tears to my eyes.  Soon I'll be dreaming of the days my kids looked up at me and said, " I luf you berry much, Mommy" and I'll waving goodbye, wishing I could go back and do it all again - just one more time.

(Emerson snapped this one!)
I'm holding on.  Breathing in these fleeting moments!

In only two days, I'll be sending Emerson to her first day of first grade and Braeden to his first day at his new preschool.  And then off we go into our second busy year of drop off's and pick up's and weekly activities.  The days will fly.

It goes by so, so quickly!

Landen has been cracking himself up.  His new made up word is "toot-a-bop."  It means nothing and comes up in the most random of times.  Today after his nap I asked if he wanted some cheese for a snack.  "I have some... toot-a bop!" And he giggles and giggles at himself.  Which in turn makes me giggle, which then encourages the use of this silly word because he knows it'll make us both laugh.

I hope I can remember these silly random things ten years from now.

And check him out copying his sister.  Practicing cartwheels has been Emerson's favorite pastime lately (she's getting pretty good!) and so Landen took a try this afternoon.  He raised his arms and lifted his leg just like Sister and then bent over and landed straight on his head!  He jumped right back up and did it again!  Just watching the process was hilarious.

Sorry about the funky focusing.  I couldn't seem to get my camera to auto-focus while I was taking the video (I'm sure I'm doing something wrong!)

(And right after this a fight ensued between the boys about who could cartwheel first.  Cartwheel fun was then suspended for a little bit.)

This morning we found out Jon's grandma, whom I genuinely love as my own grandma, and whom we affectionately call Granny, went to the Emergency Room this morning with trouble breathing and pain.  The doctors discovered she may have a blood clot in her lungs and believe she also has pneumonia.  As soon as I heard the news, I gathered the kids in our living room and we lifted her up in prayer.  Normally I ask if either of the older two want to pray and most of the time they only want me to pray.  Today, however, they both volunteered.

I can't tell you how the innocent words of their 4 and 6 year old prayers told so much of their love for Granny.  It was beautiful to hear them boldly ask for healing and for their Granny to "have fun in the hospital instead of being scared."  I pray the same.

Will you pray for her, too?  She is so deeply loved and loves her family deeply as well - and treats me like I'm one of her own grandchildren.  We love her and want her well again.

Thank you so much!

I know my thoughts (and pictures) were pretty random today, but I was pouring my heart out anyway and linking up with Shell at Things I Can't Say!

Happy Wednesday!


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