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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Because of Me

The greatest role...
The greatest responsibility...
The most significant contribution I hope to ever make to life is that any greatness I possess, however small, will be passed on and carried out through the lives of my children.
Maybe I take it too seriously.
Maybe I contemplate it too much.
Maybe I come across as being over-the-top or too cautious.
When I had Gabriella, I lacked that natural maternal instinct that seems to come so naturally to other moms.  I didn't have a gut feeling of how to help her when she cried.  I watched others around me and took cues from Rick to learn what to do and when to do it.  Slowly, I started to get the hang of it.  Maybe I was putting too much pressure on myself.  I lightened up and realized I didn't need to know everything...
just enough to make it through another day.  

I look back on those days and, although I don't know a whole lot more, I feel so much more confident in my not knowing...
if that makes any sense at all...
The one thing I have found is that being a mom, a good mom, doesn't just happen.
It takes dedication.
It takes stamina.
It takes patience.
It takes endurance.
It takes sacrifice.
It takes love.
 And please forgive me because I can't find a more appropriate word...
It takes balls.  
(see, I told you it was inappropriate!!)
Sometimes, you have to say things and do things that might hurt other people's feelings, because it's what's in the best interest of your children.

I have never taken on a responsibility of such magnitude in my life.  Who they are and who they become is a reflection of what Rick and I do now. 
We've been entrusted.
Six big, impressionable eyeballs are looking to us to guide their paths.

I'm not crazy enough to think that any job I do will ever be good enough.
I'm not naive enough to think that we won't have lots of issues along the way.

The one thing I do know is that I'm going to pray each night for the strength to be the very best mom I can be.  After all, I've got three little girls counting on me to get it right...

The thought occurred to me; some people become who they are because of their parents.  Some people become who the are despite them.

The reason I take it so seriously...
The reason I contemplate it so much...
The reason I may come across as over-the-top or too cautious...

I want my girls to be something great because of me.

and Rick, too! (I just use I a lot b/c it's my blog, not his!) ha!


Funny thing...ran across these pictures.  I've looked at pics of the twins and GG almost 100 times and I never glanced at these twice.  They didn't stand out for some reason.  Today, they did.  It's the vulnerability.  In the twins' tangled hands and feet...
In GG's expression as she holds onto Rick's finger.
Both pictures were taken within a week of each birth.  :)

And by the way...
It's in these pictures that I see God.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Joy With A Pure Heart

I know this is weird, but I often ponder the traits that I admire in other people.  More and more, I find myself  appreciating people when they show true happiness for others.
Take the fake case of the hardwood floor.  Sorry such a boring, uncontroversial topic, I know, but amuse me...
Let's say you have the most beautiful hardwood floors.  You saved and saved and got the best, most shiny floors money could buy.  Your friend calls you up and is, too, getting hardwood floors.  You're so excited for your friend.  She can now experience the same excitement that hardwood floors have brought you over the years.  

Time out- I already told you I know hardwood floors are not exciting, but for this mom of three children under 2 1/2, it's all I got today!


Now, let's say you have carpet that you despise.  You would give anything for new hardwood floors, but your financial circumstances don't allow you to treat yourself to such a luxury.  Every day, you picture just how nice hardwood floors would look in your home.  This time when your friend calls you and shares that she's getting new hardwood floors do you share the same sense of happiness and excitement with your friend?  After all, this time your friend is getting something you don't have.


On to a more serious subject matter.  Metaphor over.

It's so easy to be happy for people when they receive, achieve, or become something that you already have or are.  BUT, how awesome is it when someone can find this sense of joy for others when they desire the accomplishment of another?  What does that say about a person's character?

Could you, would you, do you share in other people's joy with a pure heart?  Without envy or jealousy or behind-the-back words of spite?  

In my early 20's I was consumed by jealousy.  I was too busy worrying about what everyone else had or did or accomplished to see the good things happening in my own life.  Now, I try to find true joy in the happiness of those around me and, to be perfectly honest, am very hurt when I don't have that feeling reciprocated.  Maybe that's why it's a trait I'm starting to admire more and more...because I don't see it that often.  I think it's something that is really hard to do and takes a conscious effort.  

At dance class the other night, Gabriella walked up to a little girl who had on a fancy tutu.  It was purple and black and was so over the top, just perfect for a 2 year old's first dance class.  I'm sure Gabriella would have loved that tutu.  She marched right up to that little girl and proclaimed, "I like your tutu!"  And she meant it.  With such a pure heart.

So clearly, I see God in those who are without their own tutu and can find the beauty in someone else's.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Love Letter-Part I

Dear Gabriella,

Tonight, as we watched the Tony Awards, you grabbed me and Daddy by the hand and asked us to dance with you.  The three of us danced in a circle to our audience of two, Marielle and Genevieve.  Daddy joked and said you were going to be a Broadway star!

That made me think, just what will you become?

You know, you love the remote control.  Will you work for Insight?

You love to use your Curious George puzzle tin as a drum.  Will you be the drummer in a band?

You love to put on your Cinderella "liptick."  Will you be a make-up artist?

You love to invade the personal space of everyone you meet with hugs and kisses and great big, "HI's!"  Will you be the first female president?

You love to read your little Bible and proclaim, "Let my people GO," when we get to the part about Moses.  Will you be a Sunday School teacher?

You love to shake your index finger when you disagree and exclaim, "No, no, no!"  Will you be a lawyer?

You love to dance and are always begging, "Dip me.  Dip me."  Will you be a ballerina?

You love rapping to Five Little Monkeys on your Veggie Tales CD player and then wrapping your arms around your chest as you, in your deepest voice, yell, "Word up!"  Will you be a rapper?

You love having tea parties with your bunny rabbit, Rocky.  Will you be a veterinarian?

You love all these things and more.  And when I think of what you might become, I know the possibilities are endless.  I love not knowing what God has in His plan for you.  Where life will take you, where you will succeed, how you will handle the failures, what you will become...

The anticipation.  The joy.  The excitement.  The love.

When we danced, I couldn't help but wonder what this life has in store for you.  I consider it one of the greatest gifts of my entire life...to see what you will become.

But don't worry.  I won't spend so much of my time thinking about what you're going to become that I don't enjoy what you are.  For now, we've got lots of drumming and reading and dipping and rapping to do.

I love you,

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Everything We Do Is Complicated

Have you ever tried to use the self-timer on your camera?!  Well, I've been thinking of a shot I wanted to capture and am too cheap to pay another photographer to take it.  So, when we went to the park for a picnic this morning, I thought it'd be as good of a time as any to give it a try.
Shot 1:  Fail.
In the time it took me to press the button, run up the hill, and grab a twin, the picture had already been taken.  The shot was actually of the attempted hand-off between me and Rick.
Shot 2: Fail.
We thought Rick would be faster.  He is.  However, what he is not, is faster than the self-timer on the camera.
Shot 3: Fail.
We moved locations.  I'm yelling, "GG, do you wanna feed the ducks?!  Then turn around and look at the camera!!"  Sure enough, GG has her back to the camera.
Shot 4:  Fail.
Yelling even louder, but trying to say it in my sweetest, yet most firm voice, "GG, do you wanna see those ducks?!  Do you wanna feed them?!  Then look at the camera!!"
Everyone in the shot looked fabulous, except for one small problem...
it seems that in my effort to fit into a too-small skirt combined with my running around like a chicken with my head cut off made my skirt gravitate to the most thin part of my waist which is pretty high up there.  Do you know what that equals??  A picture of my rear end!  Shot 4 was an epic fail to say the least!


You know, nothing with 10 week old twins and a 2 1/2 year old is easy.  But, then again, it shouldn't be.  Nothing that brings you such joy should come without some sort of price.  Everything we do is complicated.  Everything we do is time-consuming and everything we do is usually messy. 
Such a small price to pay for moments like this, though...
Shot 5:
GG facing the camera-check.
Mommy's skirt not showing her rear-check.
Yes, I'd say shot 5 was a success.  Amazing what you can accomplish in a family of five with a little patience!

Today, I see God in that magnificent blue sky that sets the backdrop for a family photo...
my family photo.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Hit Me Again and Put Some Stank On It!

What's the deal, moms?!

I've been very frustrated at my last few attempts to have Gabriella socialize.  My latest attempt had us at the library for one of their storytimes.  Sounds fun, right?  Singing, dancing, marching, make believing...
Well, not so much.

Maybe it's because moms can be so rude...
One would think that when you know how hard this mothering job can be, you'd lift up the mothers around you.  Say an encouraging word, give an encouraging smile, try to turn misbehaviors into teachable moments.

Nope.  Notta.  
And I must admit that my ever-pending question, "Where will you see God today?" sure wasn't answered in the faces of the mothers at the library class today.  See, that's not very nice and I should backspace every bit of that last sentence.

But I'm not gonna.

After the deceivingly cute little blond hit Gabriella, she stood there shocked.  So did I when the mom gave no more than a, "That's not nice," dismissal of an attitude.  When the red head shoved Gabriella in the chest for trying to help him work his puzzle, she started to get a little red in the cheeks.  So did I.  BUT, when the little girl who threw a conniption fit because Gabriella moved something on her train set and Gabriella went over and hugged her and said I'm sorry, to which the mom and the girl looked at GG liked she had a disease...for this I had no words.

Forget that my attempts at conversation with other moms are always ignored, I'm tired of every time I encourage Gabriella to say, "excuse me," or, "sorry," it's never reciprocated.  I don't blame the children.  They're only doing what they're taught.  I'm blaming the moms who roll their eyes.  The moms who never smile.  The moms who are never welcoming or inviting.  The moms who are never KIND.  
That's who I blame.

And why are moms like this?  We should be on the same team!  I want to support the mothers around me, but am finding more and more that very few moms have this attitude.  Apparently, there's even a whole Mommy War being waged.  I ran across the article below about a week ago and was surprised.
If anyone knows how hard it is being a mom, it's a mom.  So, why don't we realize we're all working towards the same goal and make our experiences together more enjoyable?!  
Have a little fun while we're in the process of living this crazy thing called life????

Of course, when we left, I was the one who was upset.  Not Gabriella.  When we went for a treat at McDonald's I asked her what she thought about the library class.  She said, "Some of the mommies and kids mean."  When I asked her if she wanted to go back, she didn't hesitate before she said, "YES!"

In Matthew 5:39, the Bible encourages us, "If someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also."

In Liar, Liar, Jim Carrey encourages us in the hilarious courtroom scene, "Hit me again, Ike, and put some stank on it!"

So, I guess we'll be going back next week and giving it another go.  I'm going to pray that God shows up at the class and gives us all a lesson in how to be more accepting, encouraging, and kind to each other.  If not, then GG and I will be tag-teaming some 2 year olds and blaming it on the other!

In fact, I think we'll borrow Marielle and Genevieve's onesies:

Maybe I didn't see Him because I was too frustrated to look, but I'm sure going to look next week!  
So, next week I'm going to see God at the library.  I just know He's going to show up!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Like No One's Watching

Ain't no mountain high
Ain't no valley low
Ain't no river wide enough, baby
If you need me, call me
No matter where you are
No matter how far, don't worry, baby
Just call my name, you don't have to worry
I'll be there in a hurry...

And so went the lyrics of the song Rick and Gabriella were singing to each other as we watched one of our new favorite shows, Duets.  They were belting it out and I was running for the camera to capture the moment!

They continued to sing like no one was watching which reminded me of Thursday night.  Rick and I went downtown to Thursday Night Live and saw this couple right in front of the band dancing like crazy.  I mean they looked a little kooky to be quite honest.  You know the saying, "Dance like no one is watching," well, they were that cliche personified!

What joy, though!  To dance, to sing, to do anything with such excitement that you don't care what anyone thinks...
At what point in our lives do we become self-conscious?  At what point in our lives do we start to hesitate because we care what others might think?

A few weeks ago, it started raining and I took Gabriella outside and we danced in the pouring rain.  Well, we actually wiggled because that was Gabriella's version of dancing at that moment.  There we stood, wiggling our little booties (ok...mine not so little) as cars drove by.  I bet they thought we were nuts...and we were.  
We are...a little. 

I like being a little nuts, though.  It means I don't miss out on opportunities like wiggling in the rain with my daughter.  It means Gabriella doesn't think twice about throwing her head back and singing as loud as her little lungs will let her with her Daddy.  It means we don't miss out on making a lot of memories...

So, to the kooky couple that was dancing like no one was watching, I bet you had a better time than anyone who actually was!

I see God when my little family dances, sings, wiggles, or does anything like no one else is watching...well except for Him.