Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Thousand Words.....

Yesterday was Anna's birthday party with her sweet little friends. I'm pretty sure everyone had a great time.  And as you'd expect, I have lots of photos from the festivities and I'll post those soon.  But frankly, I'm still recovering from the party....I slept until 9:30 a.m. this morning.  9:30!!!!  Those kiddos wore me out.  Well the kids, and the fact that I stayed up until 2 a.m. the night before, decorating and cleaning my house!!

So, I'll get to that story soon, but in the mean time, I'm posting this picture of Anna from earlier today.

I think it does a pretty good job of telling her story, right now.  The story of my just-turned-five darling.....

No words necessary.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All This Wonderful.....

When the weather gods give you all this wonderful in March - - well, you just don't take that gift for granted....

Park-a-palooza Saturday!

Five parks in five hours! Plus picnics, ice cream, bikes, scooters and even the library (yes, we read our books outside).

It was swinging and sliding mayhem at its best.  And I captured it all the craziness on film. (well, actually captured via pixels.)

These sun-deficient, summer-craving kids had a day to remember.





Clearly the tire swing was among the favorites of the day.


Too busy to stop and eat.


"Best day ever...." she said

Anna took this one.  To prove I was really there.

It was a darn good day.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

All Anna....

My darling Anna turned five today.  And we celebrated all weekend.

I owe her my annual birthday letter, and it is coming soon.  But for today, I at least want to remember two stories from our day.

These are ALL Anna......


After a big birthday breakfast, Anna opened her presents.  She is a grateful kid by nature, and offered all of her appreciation with an honest sincerity.  After a round of hugs and thank you's, she went on with the business of enjoying her new "stuff."  But, a few minutes later, Anna stood up again and clearly had something on her mind.  She got everyone's attention and said, "I know, sometimes I might be mean and say things that aren't very nice.  But I just want you all to know......"

(and then she adds just the right amount of eye shifting and dramatic pause - - dramatic pause....)

"I still love you all."

This evening, after cake and just before bed, Anna plopped down on my lap and we recounted her day.  I was headed downstairs with Henry for awhile, and she planned to chill-out with Papa and a little TV.  But, before she left, she grabbed my chin, pulled me in close and said "I can't tear myself away from you.  You are just so darn cute."

Then she gave me another quick hug, hopped off my lap, and took off up the stairs.

She's five. 

And my heart bursts with love for her.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Head in the Clouds....

These last few months, I have been stuck.  Like big-time.  Wanting to move forward with the big ideas in my head, but unable (or more like unwilling) to take the next steps to actually make it happen....

You know - it was time for the hard work.

But the more I wrestled with myself, the more uncomfortable I became.  And the noise in my head just kept getting louder and louder.  Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer.

So, two weeks ago, I took myself out for coffee and a little chat.

(No, I wasn't that person in the corner talking to herself.....well at least not this time).

I knew exactly what I needed to do - - just a Saturday morning escape.  A chance to get away, without interruption, and clear my head.

So I drank a lot of coffee and I wrote....

I wrote about all the things I was scared of.  And all the things that I thought were standing in my way.  I made long lists of what I really wanted to do.  And what it would take to make it happen.  I wrote, wrote, wrote.  Four hours worth.

And in the end, it turns out I really am headed in the right direction.  And I'm ready. 

(Love that writing thing......Works every time for me).

So now, it's been a little over two weeks since my heart-to-heart.  And oh-my, things are happening fast.  To my amazement, pieces are falling into place like nobody's business.

Funny what happens when I open myself up to the possibilities.   When I dare to step outside my comfort zone....

I'm so excited and can't wait to share.

More coming soon.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Oh Henry....

The other day, Henry and I were walking into the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner.  Out of the blue, he looked up and said "Mom, is it hard to be a parent?"

In that moment, a hundred reasons for saying a resounding "YES!!" flashed through my head.....

Yes, dear Henry.  Yes, because half the time, I have no idea how to be a parent.  Just when I think I have a handle on what is going on in your life and what you need from me, you go and change.  Suddenly, you need something new from me.  Something different, and now I'm stuck trying to figure it all out.  Again. 

Yes, because sometimes your whining or your second-grade anger or your incessant asking for something or your moodiness - - well it feels like it might push me over the edge.

Yes, because my heart breaks every time you come home from school and recount some minor social struggle or rejection.  Something that someone said or did that made you sad.  You always get over it quickly, because it really didn't mean anything.  But still, my heart just breaks.

Yes, because some days, the worry and fear I have about everything that could go wrong feels all consuming. 

Yes, because sometimes I am so tired, and I can't give anything more.  Not. One. Thing. More. But you still need more.  And whoa - then the mama-guilt really sets in.

Yes, because I question whether I'm doing enough.  Whether I'm finding the right balance of allowing you independence and giving you boundaries.  If I'm teaching you everything you'll need to grow up and become the strong, kind, independent, courageous, loving person I know you to be....

Yes, yes, YES!  The answer is yes.  Being a parent is hands-down, the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.

But that's not the answer I gave you, my dear boy.....

Someday - - many years from now, we'll talk about all those "yes's." About the reality of being a parent.  But not right now. 

There is so much more to the story....

Never, never have I questioned or had any regret about being a parent.  Not for a second.  Not even in the hardest of moments.  In a sense, it's been the easiest thing I've ever done too.  It's been natural.  And right.  And perfect. 

So, my answer was simple.

"No Henry, being your mom is not hard.  Being your mom is exactly what I was meant to do." 

"Good," he said. "Because, it's pretty easy to be a kid too."

What more could I possibly ask for?