Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A litte Grace for Valentine's Day

February 14, 2006
I stare at this picture and I am able to transport myself back to this very moment.  It is after nap time and we are just playing on the living room floor.  You are both dressed in your Valentine's t-shirts that said something about being Dad's Superstar.  I think you both knew the day was special, even then.  Or maybe it was because I was just in a really good mood so it just spread to you.  Either way, it was just so easy.   
When you were both little there wasn't a lot of expectations.  I could cut up some bananas and give you some goldfish and you would mindlessly snack.  A notebook with a pen from my purse could keep you busy for 20 minutes.  I started to be able to predict your needs - and I could meet them. 
Fast forward 8 years.
I am pretty sure one of you doesn't like goldfish but I can never keep it straight.  Audrey is learning about segregation, Pearl Harbor, and Colonization but has to debate why she needs a shower at least every 48 hours.  Carissa has had a tooth hanging by a thread for over a month but is subtracting three digit numbers and creating her own math story problems for fun.
We talk... A LOT.  And sometimes it is not so easy anymore.

I have stopped trying to anticipate needs.  Now, with the two of you, I just never know.
It is Valentine's week and, true to form, there is love in the air.  Secret cards and presents are being constructed.  Pink and red are the colors of choice and I have been awestruck by one simple thing.
The thing that made it so easy 8 years ago was I had no expectations.  You were babies and perfect and beautiful.  You were pure joy.  Somewhere along the lines I decided you needed to go, to do and be, to learn and reflect.  Shame on me. 
I have come to the conclusion that you will do all those things regardless if I push you.  I think you are both still SO beautiful and you are my JOY. 
So this Valentine's day I am offering GRACE to my girls. I am setting aside expectations and letting you be 10 and 7.  (The only thing I will predicting is your eye roll.)
 Happy Valentine's Day.
Love, Mom

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 - YIKES

One of the best New Year's Eve I have ever had. We rang it in with yummy snacks, movies, games, and dancing.  The girls stayed up until midnight and I made it to about 11:48 then woke up at 12:00 for quick kisses. 
 Already this year we have experienced so many firsts.  Audrey's artwork was picked to go to the District level.  She has big plans for next year's submission now that she knows what kind of talent she is up against!
 We took the girls to see a Christian Rock Concert.  I felt very, very old.  I think I was tired by like the second act and contemplating why I didn't wear ear plugs.   I wanted so bad to not feel that way too.  Who doesn't want to always be the "cool" mom?
Carissa was Star of the Week and has been counting down until her turn.  She had to present her poster to the class using the microphone and it was adorable.  She definetly likes to make people laugh and be happy but she doesn't like to have the focus on herself. 

 It is still "winter" here.  Everyday I think I am going to wake up and it will be warm again.  The sun is poking out now and we had a gorgeous day yesterday.  I just have to get into the timing of the seasons.   (It really only started to get chilly in November and it's only January - right?)
 ~Here is a pic of the Edmonds Marina at Sunset.  So pretty!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013

This is starting to become my favorite photo op ~ Christmas morning with the girls in front of the tree.  It is still dark out and they have that morning glow and the lights are twinkling. 
It is anticipation and joy and might I say, relief?  All rolled into one. 
 Maybe that is what Mary felt that night in the stable.  We know there was anticipation.  She had already spoken to an angel!  Who wouldn't feel antsy after that?  The joy after giving birth is indescribable.  But the relief that was brought is priceless. 
Because after all the decorating and baking and all the texts about gifts - who wears what and wants what.  The secrets and hiding and surprises and the planning and cooking and preparing.  It is a beautiful thing when it is all over and we can let go and feel the relief.
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace"
~Isaiah 9:6

Snow Day

I don't think any of us slept well the night before with rumors of snow in the morning.  Once it hit morning we were up staring out the window.  Audrey threw on her coat over her pajamas and just raced outside.  Carissa doesn't even really look awake here!

It brought back such crazy memories of our first time in Washington when it snowed.  I wrote about it *here* The girls were so tiny then!
 There is something about that first morning snow.  It is so quiet!  It is peaceful and gentle and calm. 
 It was a good break between the craziness the Christmas brings. 
Here is one case in point... Candy Cane Jane.  She just had to show up in her scarf and snow boots. This little lady caused quite a stir this year ~ especially for doubting daughters. 
I'd take running out into the snow instead of running around looking for the elf any day of the week!

We Danced...

our way right through December!

Carissa started taking Ballet in August. She is with a really tough teacher named Ms. Ann.  The lady doesn't mess around (I am even a little bit scared of her.) But I can't believe how much Carissa has learned and grown in her class. 

 She took an extra 2 months of Saturday classes to be part of the Nutcracker Production.  Performing in two scenes she wowed me with her gracefulness. 
 They had a show on Saturday and Sunday and sitting through that was one of the most enjoyable parts of this Christmas for me. 
Moving on to Audrey ~ who, have I mentioned, is in Jazz Company?  She performed over 10 times during December at multiple locations. This time was at the Seattle Center on the Winterfest stage.

 We couldn't help but take in some of the sights of the "Big City" while we were down there.  The whole town, to me, is just one big giant thing of coolness. 
 Can you see her on the big stage?  Look she is already performing with the Space Needle as her back drop!  Where to go from here?
 Her little group is so professional.  They just amazed me with their stage presence and how they, well, worked the crowd!! 
 A couple times I caught myself just grinning from ear to ear like a big goof.  (I had only seen the performance about 20 times!) 
It was an awesome way to spend the month.  So proud of my dancing girls!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving on the Coast

Lucky, Lucky Us! 
We got to visit Nick and Megan and Aida, and Anderson, and Greyson in Lincoln City, OR for Thanksgiving.  Can I just tell you that the house just stares at the ocean?  You can be in the kitchen.. Ocean.  You can be walking down the stairs...Ocean.  You can be taking out the trash...Ocean. 
Here we are on Day 1:
It's really easy with Anderson.  You just grab a stick and go.  He rocked his red skinny jeans on the beach and we played and played.
 Carissa was adamant she "hated" the beach. Then we walked down and she ran and chased Aida.
You wouldn't know it after 20 seconds.  The love was back.
Dad + Carissa
(Check out the background waves!  I did not photoshop that in!)
Where was Audrey?  In the water, of course!  On Thanksgiving, on the Oregon Coast, my daughter swam in the Pacific Ocean. 
This is what happened after the Turkey, and the running, and the swimming. 

Here we are on Day 2:
Back on the Beach in Linoln City at Devil's Punch Bowl.

We climbed and explored.  It was a little slippery and Audrey was grossed out by the tidepools.  She was even more surprised when I told her it was the ocean floor she was standing on yesterday.  Ignorance just might be bliss!

Here we are Day 3:
Couldn't get enough of the beach.  This time searching for hidden blown glass along the coastline.  Greyson almost smiled for me!
 It was a great November and we achieved some great successes with Justin's work.  We are firmly finding a home here in the Pacific Northwest and it feels great.  Audrey had some stomach issues resolved and I got some new clients.  We are so thankful and blessed.
Looking forward to our next adventure with this crew!!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

12 Glorious Years

Leaves are dropping so fast here but I had to look past the Autumn Beauty and think Spring.  We purchased 50 bulbs from Costco and moved around the soil to bring good stuff to to the top.
Justin dug the holes and I placed each bulb in its one little winter hole.  Row after row I imagined how great it is going to look in April when all 50 pop up.  A little slice of heaven.
How sad I would have been if we wouldn't have planted them!  I think of our last 12 years together (mentally calculating that I have been married exactly 1/3 of my life!), but I think, what if?

What if we wouldn't have taken the time to bring all the good stuff to the top? I marvel at all the little things we have talked about and planned and how now we are starting to see the beauty in bloom!!
I am married to my best friend and I am so lucky.  He is generous and caring and loving and so gorgeous. 

I learn more about him all the time and feel like God hand-picked us for each other.  What will our next season bring?