Friday, September 24, 2010

Take 5

It's been a week of movement here in the nest. The chicks are growing and stretching their wings and, at times, my patience. Our five are mostly enjoyable, sometimes undesirable, always memorable. Five minutes, five moments that you desire to savor or discard. We're taking five...GO.

1. On Saturday, Little Bit decided she liked the dog. Santa brought us Tallulah Mae two years ago for Christmas, when the prof finished his grad program. The youngest has been yea or nay on her ever since...until Saturday, when I caught this glimpse of my girl and her new best pal. I was thrilled.

2.Due to the fact that we don't have the Big Ten Network (it's not even offered here in the South via our cable provider) we miss multiple Michigan games a year. However, while on the road to the beach I figured out that we can listen to the broadcast via my Droid. I was in heaven. I also realized we could "watch" (play by play on the field) on the computer. My man, using all of his technical prowess, contrived a new set-up Saturday just for me. My best buddy did her part as well, making sure she commented on each run. She even offered to let me watch it via her TV and Skype. But I had to leave for dance. Story of my life.

3. The eldest spent the week reminding us of the following: She's a tween, life is changing, and we might make it out alive. Might being the key word. The Lord spent it reminding us of His sweet moments of tender mercies and of how we are supposed to love with His heart.

4. A small group ensemble from the company team preformed at an event in World's Fair Park on Sunday. Legs was her sweet, sparkly self. It was fun to watch "You Better Work" one last time. Especially since I'd finally gotten RuPaul's singing out of my noggin after a long summer stretch. Oh well...we all have a cross to bear...

5. Although the calendar states that Fall has officially arrived, the thermometer hasn't taken notice. We've hit day 79 of temperatures over 90 degrees. I'm completely over it. The chicks have loved it, as they've been able to swim five out of the last seven days. It's September, people. I come from the North, where, just like white, outdoor swimming is an emphatic NO after Labor Day. I guess I still have gads to learn about becoming a belle.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

From Clay to Porcelain

A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.
-Mildred Struven
I've decided that the examination of the spot that one places her tush would be a good blog topic; actually, it may be a series of posts. I could be way out in left field like way way out but honestly, the locations we park our posteriors tell a whole lot about day and our lives. Some rarely pop-a-squat, while others spend hours in one position. I am usually up and down, rather than in a sitting position. My spot changes by the hour and sometimes by the minute depending on what the chicks' schedule holds. Location isn't always about comfort (it's usually never about this) but generally about view.

My view...early yesterday afternoon

Our eldest is feisty, spirited, and strong willed. She's also graceful and sweet, with a soul as deep as the river is wide. She's a gift. When she's not putting me through the fire...wait, that should read especially when she's putting me through the fire.

Legs is incredible. A girl who always knows what she desires. However, her route to the destination is sometimes laborious. Especially for me and the professor. Balancing patience with the knowledge that she's growing and pushing exploring boundaries. Finding her own path. Setting her limits. Learning to express herself appropriately. That final one? Where we come to a time worn battleground, once again. The girl who is not yet a woman feels she must accept and understand things as an adult. Not realizing that some events in life are not explainable except through faith. Not fully understanding that someone can love you and love God and choose to follow a path that is yet unseen. Not accepting that love means letting go and continuing to care in spite of geographic location. All of this while knowing that she should accept and deal differently but unable to do so because of maturity, age, kidhood. Sigh.

Parenthood is all about the fire.

I'm learning that in life, as she and I walk though these fires, we will not be burned Isaiah 43:2. I, as a mother, am being refined for what is yet to come, what He has before us. While travelling this road albeit rocky with my girl of grace I'm changing...from a clay pot sitting in the sun to a new vessel. I'm not as hardy and strong. I'm a whole lot less coarse. I have some splinters from where leaks may spring. But no longer am I ordinary clay. In the process of all of this growing up via the white hot furnace heat I've become more fragile. My skin is thinner, I break more easily, I've hollowed out a bit. I'm approached differently than I was a decade ago, a mother with a dimpled toddler who looked young and fresh and full of plans. I've come to know that parenthood means being able to lead, let go, trust and hope (not necessarily in that order). I understand that heat brings transformation, maturity, beauty; it converts clay to porcelain.

Which brings us back, in a roundabout way, to parking ourselves. Who we choose to be seated near, and where the seat is located. You can't fully tell from the above shot, but my girl chose to burrow herself in my lap after a particularly long jaunt through fire. With her head on my chest, I held her, stroked her hair, and rocked. When I used the camera on my phone to capture the memory, she asked what I was taking a picture of ...

My reply? What love looks like.

Parenthood. Fire.
Clay. Porcelain.
Growth. Love.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Take 5


I'm not a TGIF'er, but as of today I may be a convert. Seriously. I don't know about anyone else, but coming back from three days at the beach is enough to make a gal long for sun and sand indefinitely. Even when that girl deals with an illness where sun isn't supposed to part of the program. Good chicks can break the rules some of the time, right???

Our take five for the week, in no particular order

1. Last Thursday (yes, I know I'm going on a day eight, but this was a highlight of the month outside of sun and sand) I was able to spend over two hours on Skype talking to my best friend. Amazing. Little Bit did a show for us and Legs was at dance, so I honestly was able to just see and talk to her for over 120 minutes. It was glorious, grand, and just what my heart required.

2. BOTH of the free photo books I made arrived in the mail. I am seriously impressed with the quality, look and feel of the Picaboo book I created with our professional family photos that sweet Abby captured almost a year ago; Shutterfly arrived this morning and we sat and flipped through the pages, lost in memories. I LOVE THEM. Being able to digitally scrapbook and catalog moments makes me feel like I've accomplished something outside of being a wife, mother, and homeschooler.

3. The chicks created and sent my Mom birthday cards that were thoughtful, creative, and just plain fun. I mailed them, along with the Hallmark version I purchased, on time. This was an accomplishment in and of itself this week. They arrived today on her birthday and were a reminder that she's loved to pieces even though we're much farther apart geographically than I enjoy. Happy Birthday, sweet Mom of mine.

4. Following church, an extra dance practice for a special event this coming weekend, grocery shopping and leaving my wallet behind only to realize it five minutes later after picking up Legs from the aforementioned dance practice and then having to go back to Super Target to retrieve it, and a Sonic stop during happy hour, we did all of the first fall trimming. The beds, plants, and yard look fit and fantastic. Phew.

5. After donning maize and blue we cheered and hollered from 3:30 to 7 on Saturday evening. Go Blue!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Take 5 Friday

It has been an amazing, whirlwind week full of memories, laughter and moments to cherish. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

1. On Saturday, we surprised the chicks with an extended weekend getaway to Wild Dunes in South Carolina. They were shocked and thrilled, in that order. I planned and packed in a day--a never before and probably never again feat.

2. Little Bit experienced the ocean and beach for the first time. Ever. Legs grew up living 20 minutes from those waters, but our little boo had never felt the waves lap on her legs or the breeze swirl through her hair. It was magical.

3. We were able to relive moments and memories. So much of our bigs littledom took place in Charleston that as we drove in to the darkened city it was a road filled with remember when and over there...although long past, it brought back sweetness.

4. We took our first true "vacation" as a family of four. Seeing as the little bit is six, it was long overdue. I'm not saying that there haven't been vacations, but that they've not occurred with just the four nuclear members of our clan.

5. The girls got time with the professor. He didn't open his computer while they were awake or take calls that came in, as they inevitably do. My man made his babes feel like the most important thing in the world. He shielded them from waves, built sandcastles, and took video. It was a gift that I don't even think he realized he was giving and one that they'll recall for the rest of their lives. His job is hectic and harried and requires more of him than we'll understand; for these precious days he showed the chicks they were all that mattered.

So many other things are happening that are worth posting as part of my take five on this Friday, but for today? Well, I choose to cherish these moments and make the most of them. Each and every one.