Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The girl with the most.

Her hair is impossible. But it kind of goes with the act.

Her beauty isn't always up front. It isn't flat-faced explosive. Sometimes you have to look through her window, with your hand slightly shading your eyes, and suddenly you see it! You see her. Her absolutely stunning beauty. The gorgeous rose hip that she is.

She cries. Oh, she cries so much. Big giant sobs that echo through her body and roll down her high freckled cheeks. She's a woman with a plan that demands restitution if her path is interrupted.

The curl of her top lip just about does me in every time.

My little Ruby.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kindergarten Field Trip.

To the Polk County Landfill. A.K.A. 'The Dump'. She was thrilled to ride the bus, help me with Lill and generally just open her mouth, stick her teeth out, and smile! I am so glad I trashed my excuses and went with her.

At one point we looked over at Nicholas (her boyfriend earlier this year) and he was pouting in his seat. She begged me to let her go sit by him, see what was the matter. I flat out refused. Sorry but the last thing on this earth I need is for my little girl to go help the sulking six-year-old boy that just wants girl attention. Uh UHH. Go call the whine patrol.

Sunday Afternoon.

These photos are the only way I can express how it felt to hang out on the beach with my two oldest girls. The best way I can paint a picture of how they were together and how beautiful they looked with salt water in their hair. A perfect day. Eighty degrees, a gentle wind, and no fighting for two hours straight.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

There is no one else

Who understands it all. Every speck. When I am worn out, kids causing frustration to boil inside of me, rice all over the kitchen floor, a thousand things on my brain, I look so forward to sitting next to him every evening. Watching a show, folding laundry, going over finances. His scratchy, hairy arm brushes mine and he gets all my jokes. It's just, normal. Very normal and very nice.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Bright Spot.

I don't know if anyone else feels this way about their baby. Maybe some do now or in a different time or season, you might.

She is like the dessert hidden in the back corner of the fridge. When the company leaves, when it gets too late for phone calls, she is the juicy goodness that waits for me. Makes me smile, laugh and forget every single thing that brought stress into my life.

Of course there are the hard times. Around 7 each morning or around 10 each night, when I feel like plopping her in another woman's lap and saying, "she's all yours, I'm clockin' out".

But look, you can't buy that. You can't buy the warmth that her dimple creates. Even a brand new Audi with black leather seats and Greg Laswell playing on the stereo cannot top that smiling face. The face of the little girl who loves me so much, absolutely can't live without me, cries-when-I-am-out-and-she-hears-my-voice-through-the-phone.

And then the little girl giggles that float around the corner when she crawls into the girls' room just past bedtime... it can't possibly get better. Their room is dark and they are just nodding off when they see the shape of her body scampering through their doorway, and can't contain themselves. She wants to be with her sisters and they in turn can't leave her alone.

It's pure love.

What the world needs now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The tear in Lillie's eye is beautiful. She had just woken up from a nap, and always likes to snuggle for a moment. Her head is just too heavy.

When my brother the photographer was here, he tried to take some photos of me and I told him it was really impossible to take a photo of me that I like. But he took one that I kind of do. It's hard to feel beautiful with the ancient shirt, no makeup, no shower, a few extra pounds, but I think as mothers, we really should get photographed more. Like, SEE? I really DO exist, I'm not just the invisible maid!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


There is something I never want to forget about today. Jake walked Gracie into the school office at 9 a.m., late for school (it had been a long night). There were five or six office ladies standing to greet incoming students and one was poised and ready to give her a tardy stamp. Jake stammered about how they were running late and how it was no big deal. He said this a few times as he and Grace shuffled toward the desk.

She saw the ladies all gathered around, pointed at Jake and said, "Nuh uh, HE SLEPT IN!" Uproarious laughter ensued.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Weekend.

We gathered together at Nana's house for an Easter Egg Hunt (find chocolate on the ground, put it in your basket). We had a few extra cousins this year when some more extended family came! We loved it.

These boys are my brothers. They flew in for Easter weekend to visit me along with my sister. I love being the mother of only girls, I love it so much, and I'm very proud of it. But sometimes it makes me sad that my girls might never know what it's like to have a brother. Someone to shake things up, make a joke out of every situation and especially, to have a tough shoulder to punch whenever you feel like it.

My favorite Easter talk by Jeffrey R. Holland here.

This Easter I spent more time than usual going over the events of the crucifixion and resurrection. It was nice to take some time to find my personal connection with Christ's suffering. What touched me most was when Jesus' friend Joseph took his body from the cross and wrapped him in white garments before he was laid in the tomb.

Only a few weeks ago, we saw Jake's grandfather so recently full of life, nestled in a casket and buried in the earth. I thought of what it would have been like to be the one preparing Jesus' body. To have it echo through me that his earthly life was over, that his expressive face would never again hold its wonder. However necessary, it is still so sad.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

A work of art.

I just don't know too many things that top that.

Monday, April 06, 2009


Did anyone else watch today's Oprah Show about the "Secret Lives of Moms"? It was a back-and-forth about the perils and confessions of motherhood. Mothers everywhere confided how they'd like to trade their husbands for a housekeeper. They complained how at certain points in their lives they concluded that having a baby was a big mistake, that they had to reinvent themselves to encompass the huge sacrifice they made as a parent.

After watching the show I slumped down in my seat. I felt somewhat relieved that other mothers hated poo! as much as I did, and sometimes went a few days without a shower. But something was missing. I felt a little empty, a little icky. Maybe I waited for someone to say that putting your husband and your family first is okay. That we should focus on the mystery and grace that surrounds a good woman who is trying her best to be a good mother, whatever hardship might follow. There was so much beauty lost in that hour of snarky complaining.

So that I am completely clear, I am at times, the queen of complaints. I come in swinging with the best of them about how my life has become 24-7 servitude and how the person I used to be is floating above me somewhere, waiting for room to wriggle back in. How some days I am so impatient that I toss a few girls in time-out on my way to the couch before I stare at the wall for a few minutes in despair, pondering my next move.

One woman on the show said she sobbed the whole way to the mini-van dealership because she could not believe she was stooping to that level. Really? Is it really that bad? Can we just keep perspective here and be glad that you get a new car? Moms were one-upping each other the whole time like, "I completely lost my mind." "Well I completely lost my mind AND went to therapy." "OH YA? I completely lost my mind, killed someone, and THEN went to therapy".

I understand the need for validation. I need it all the time. But where is the love? There was no point in the show that anyone stood up and said, "But I love my children. I love their impossibleness and the fact that they don't shut up. I love their cute toes and the way they can't say their "R's". No one did. It was just... a little bit sad. Because if we all sacrifice daily, hate our jobs, and complain constantly, then where does that leave us? Hopeless.

(Look at me talking all fancy now that the kids are in bed. Call me tomorrow morning, I'll be singing a different tune!)

{Thank you for your comments. This something that all of us believe, and I devoured every single one of your words.}

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sunday Walk.

Here is the cottonmouth that we came across. Florida wildlife never disappoints. This was not taken with a zoom lens. I wasn't even scared.
Jake is the best dad. Seriously. No, really. He is.
Girls brought paper bags to collect nature discoveries. Specimen included grass, both dead and alive (and did not include snake).
I love them. Each of them. They're my gang, my mob, my popcorn-on-a-string. Their laughter is my favorite song on the radio.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

In the future.

Let's just say, my house probably won't be clean when you come visit. The trash can might be sticky. There might be crayons on the floor and cheerios in the corner. There will probably be a pile of laundry in my bedroom. There might be cobwebs by the porch and a stroller parked on the doormat, and I won't even mention the condition of my van.

But we laugh. A lot. And I try to cook dinner. And the girls run around in their underwear or make water messes. And we laugh, most of the day. And in 20 years, I'll be a happy, laughy woman with a [finally] clean house, who will still be very blessed.