Thursday, January 31, 2008

I Ride Roller Coasters

I have never been the queen of the amusement park. I've always been too afraid of being out of control. Of going too fast. Of the giant dips. And the many swirls (as Audrey calls the twists and turns). Of the loop de loops. And the thought of being thrust upside down at a rapid speed sends my heart racing.

But lately--I'm changing. The voice in my head is growing quieter. I am more spontaneous. I am enjoying my life. I am being. And in turn, I am living. I ate a giant chocolate chip cookie simply because I wanted one. I loved every bite and was guilt free as the girls and I indulged. I stopped reading a biz article I needed to get through to play with Audrey's beautiful shiny hair. I hung my head and cried for my aunt whose son died last summer. I was on a crowded plane and could care less who saw me.

To be truthful, I am not entirely changed. We just left five fun filled (albeit water logged days) in Disneyland.

While the trip was lovely, I certainly had my share of uptight moments.

No clue why Eric ordered two pizzas at 10 p.m. knowing the girls and I would maybe have one piece each and that's if we stayed awake long enough for the delivery. I lectured Eric on being wasteful.

I could not believe we forgot to check out of the hotel! We checked our bags with the concierge while we went in for the final day at the park but we forgot to check ourselves out of the room- oh my! Fortunately, the hotel automatically does it for you at 11 a.m. I beat myself up for being forgetful.

By the end of the trip I was ready to burn the bag I spent far too much time rifling through all week in search of the camera, the cell phone, my earpiece, the umbrella, the lollipops, the autograph books and on and on.

And if I wasted any more time waiting for Olivia to tie her shoes I was going to flip. Actually, I did flip over her shoe tying. A few times. She refused to tie double knots so about every 10 steps the laces came untied. I could not resist this pic...she even made Mickey & Pluto wait while she laced up!

But regardless of some stressful moments for the most part I am less uptight than usual.
Here we are pictured below late for a dinner engagement with my wonderful aunts, cousins, and parents because Minnie fell asleep in my arms. The party came to us, though. They met us at the hotel, we had some margaritas and then went off to dinner. Minnie slept, Mama chilled, and life went on.
At one point the rain was streaming down HARD and we had "VIP" seating at the fireworks so we really wanted to catch the show. We grabbed the umbrella and the show went on. And no one melted!
Clearly you can see when Mama is happy... ...everyone is happy.
And now with less chaos, clutter, and concerns in my head--- I even ride roller coasters! Big ones--complete with giant dips, lots of swirls, and a loop de loop!
California Screamin' at Paradise Pier in California Adventure

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pink Gumballs, Sleeping Beauties & More

It was Erma Bombeck (or someone like her) that wrote about child rearing and the joys, triumphs, and frustrations that come along with it. One phrase in particular has always stood out in my mind when the writer addresses how sorry she'll be when the fingerprints on the wall disappear. I get what she is trying to say, how it all goes so fast--too fast.

Here's some thoughts on what I will miss dearly and what I treasure daily.

Opening my purse and finding sparkly barrettes, pink gumballs and notes from the girls...

holding small hands...and feet

kids concerts (yes, even a part of me will miss these!)

after school chat sessions, ribbons on the dogs, giggles and flashlights inside their playtent, butterfly kisses,

singing with their cousins

silly spontaneous performances

their teachers

even their recess monitors (Liv says she just has to check in with her daily since they're good friends. Darling!)

bed time

sleeping beauties

chandeliers and goldfish

trails of books

little friends


children's stories, tea parties, everything about this next scene...the pram, the dolls and animals Audrey has chosen to take for a stroll, the blankets, and the care that went into tucking all these little treasures in

and everything about what was happening prior to this picture being snapped...I will miss naming these dolls with Audrey (Lucy, Maggie, and Melissa), gathering their bottles & watching her feed them. After she was all settled in with them she asked for a picture so she could send it to Meme (who gave her these triplet dolls.) I will miss her beautiful innocent, pure heart ...yet I anxiously look forward to watching her giant heart grow even bigger!



surprise notes taped on my nightstand (Audrey wrote "I Love You")

watching them write real words for the first time (Audrey had to do an "About Me" lesson and what I want to be when I grow up--she had written, "help the needies".

and wearing the words with pride! She taped on paper with the words"you. me. audrey. i love you." on them.

their hairstyles

And let's be honest, there will be many things I will not miss. Hair issues, clothes issues, whining, tantrums, bickering, the morning rush, making lunches, Raffi, guilt ridden workdays, guilt ridden workouts, guilt ridden pedicures, and the lack of naps! And yes, fingerprints on the wall.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Grow Old Along With Me...

Liv went to cheerleading camp last week. A three hour mini day camp.

That night she was able to put her new found skills to work by cheering for the Shorecrest High School basketball team.

She is now ready for the Dallas Cowboys.

She did not know a soul when she entered the big gymnasium last Saturday morning. She gave her name at the sign in desk, grabbed a set of pom poms and was ready for primetime.

I was so proud of her.

"Oh, Liv, you look so old!" I had said to her earlier that day as she presented herself to me in the kitchen.

"Thank you, Mama! You look old, too!" And she threw her arms around me.

"Not old, old. Not like old lady old. Just perfect old. You look just like you are supposed to. Yep--Perfect. Old." she explained.

Last Saturday as Eric and I watched Olivia cheer I told him I'd be very content to spend our weekend nights in a high school gym watching our girls when they become teens.

"Really?" he asked a bit perplexed. "Wow, you're getting old."

So I hear...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bliss & Blessings

I have so many wonderful friends and family who share their hearts and thoughts with me. I know it is a gift. I promise to not take it for granted. I am not sure how to begin or how to express how deeply touched and loved and how happy it all makes me feel. I remember how overwhelmed Eric and I were on our wedding day. All the attention. All the gifts. All the hugs. All meant for us and all so genuine. I have been experiencing that sort of happiness more and more as of late and I am so thankful.

Here is just a hint of what I am grateful for...

The kind, kind words at your party, Mara. The friendship. The hug yesterday when it was least expected and I did not know how much I needed it. And oh, the bountiful bag of presents. Over indulged was I!

The inquiry over your breakfast bar, Carrrie, about how all was going. The eye contact. The genuine love.

The CD mix made especially for us and hand delivered!

The calendar of my beautiful cousin, Kyle, who was taken from this place far too soon.

The emails and calls with family opening their hearts, accepting my thoughts, and loving me regardless.

The smiles on the kids faces with all the gifts, cards, notes, and holiday wishes from friends and family near and far. We were touched by so many this season!

The crumbs left behind by Santa and the special note of thanks for the clementine from Blitzen!

The generous help from my mother-in-law keeping the kitchen sparkling as we entertained this season.

The talks with my mom. Always. About everything. Or nothing. And always wishing they would never end.

The unexpected calls from my grammie and her emails. 93 and you totally rock!

My dad. I am so glad we're so close and have such a wonderful adult friendship and father/daughter bond.

Audrey's laugh.

Eric's final words before we drift off to sleep. I love every single part of you.

Liv's notes and thoughts and long, long talks into the night. I wish you so much happiness, Liv.

Driving through our old neighborhood last week listening to "Five For Fighting" really loud with Olivia and not wanting to be anywhere else or with anyone else.

Enjoying a cask conditioned Jolly Roger beer and eating spicy Mexican lentil soup at Hilltop Ale House on Queen Anne. By myself. On a work day! Being surprised and hugged by Jeff (the owner and our friend!)

Chatting with family on Christmas day. A second phone call from my folk's house as my brother, Peter, really wanted to talk with his little sis! I love that!!

Here's to many, many moments of bliss in 2008 and beyond. I pray for peace, good health, friendship and much love to all.