Tuesday, January 27, 2009





Lots of love... sticking to the walls, covering the door handles, settling on top of the dressers. I'm soaking it all in. It's always over too soon...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Comings and Goings.


My parents are here! I am wasting precious time with them by typing these words! Ah! Must stop! Top: My mom, clutching Lillie to her heart. This will be a good week.

And yet to come: Gideon returns from a two year mission in Atlanta! He will arrive here on Friday (for a day or so) on his way back home to California. Can't wait to see him.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mom Chub Is Worth It.

I uploaded these pictures, placed my hands on the keyboard and felt a huge lump rise from my chest and into my throat for the way this girl has enlarged my heart. Jake and I layed in bed last night (with fevering Ruby in between us) and talked about how we both felt after we had Grace. How could we ever love another just the same? It seemed impossible. Then came Ruby with her heart-shaped face. How could we think the earth was really on its axis without Ruby around? She made our family feel so different.

Then came Lill. A completely new kind of machine. I couldn't help but excitedly grab the video camera when she waved "BYE BYE!" for the first time today. I made her do all the tricks, this genius child of mine! Though I've seen it all before, it's still so new. She smells different, tastes different, smiles differently, has more teeth. She has almost three pounds on Grace at this age. Though the green snot volume is on a high today and my eyes permanently burn, I absolutely love watching each of these creatures grow up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

He Came In Like A Tetris Piece.


I will always remember today. Grace sat next to me on the couch, trying to hum along with Aretha Franklin. Ruby ran in circles, Lillie not quite 7 months old sat on the floor. Sunlight pushed through our windows and I (despite my flu body aches) allowed the speeches, the small moments, the feeling, move me to tears instantly. There are many more reasons to celebrate besides the issue of race, but for me, today was about the daunting mountain that everyone has managed to not just climb, but blow apart.

When I was 16, I sat on my bedroom floor for several days straight reading Roots by Alex Haley. I wept through most of it, got sick, got sad. My confidence in the human race was shaken and stirred. Today I saw a black man at the podium and it was a victory for every American that has only wanted peace from the beginning. On all issues, may Barack Obama deliver at least in part what he has promised to our constantly evolving society. I hope the promises he has made can transfer into successes for our country. I hope his presidency gathers together the ranks of young people in our country and helps them truly believe in America.



...And how rad was the closing prayer guy?

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Little Under.



It's Martin Luther King Day and we are celebrating. With the flu. At four in the morning we had the older girls both in our bed, I fetched the throw up bowl and Daddy cleaned up. As I rested my hand on the hot skin of her back, I told Grace, "It will all be over soon"! She didn't believe me so I told stories about baby goats, rivers, and Raspberry Pie. It seemed to help a little. Now we all wait with breath drawn in to see who gets the pukes next.
Happy Day, MLK! Happy Day.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Florida Storm.

It's rainy today. Makes me miss my homeland of Eureka, California. Grace just got home from school. We are baking cinnamon rolls and Lillie is half naked. Everything is tasting yummy. Only a few more hours until my pajamas are back on and peace is restored to the house. It can't come soon enough!

p.s. I really love Jacob these days. He knows what to say to make me feel really awesome. And there is nothing funnier than watching The Bachelor with him. He turns into a chatterbox and has so many tidbits stored in that brain of his.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just a Monday.



I helped in Grace's class today. I read a few books to 20 kids. Their eyes absorbed everything they saw, the Bernstain Bears, my facial expression and the way my voice sounded. After that, they went to do some testing including tying shoes, relay races and dexterity exercises. Before I came, they were coloring a booklet about continents. Continents?! I swear, school has gotten much harder since my time. I love to see Grace in action, fussing with this person and that person and so-and-so and then perching on my lap for the last few minutes. I love her and her thick grown-up black hair splaying down her shoulders and back.

I left there and found myself walking into the school parking lot deep in thought. Lillie was there in the stroller right in front of me, only 6 months into her busy little life. Her thumb was moving back and forth, back and forth, against the grooved nylon strap of the seat belt, her eyes staring straight forward. As she memorized the feeling of nylon, its rough texture and edges, she breathed in the breeze as it pushed its way up her nose and watched the leaves moving across the cement.

She is the next big thing. She will move on from feeling straps and breathing wind without a conscious thought. She'll move onto crawling and walking and picking up cheerios with her thumb and forefinger. Pretty soon she'll be worried about why Molly wears oil in her hair and what her teacher's first name is. Today I felt like I was truly in the middle of a cycle. Right smack in the middle. I guess my own mother probably realized this along the line. And now it's hit me. In my 29th year. My place in this huge moving circle. Helping the little ones get to where they're going and stunned at the truth that they'll get there no matter what.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Lill The Thrill

This morning Lillie offered to slowly put me back to sleep with her rhythmic sucking and her warm body touching mine. I gladly accepted and off we went at 9 a.m.

I posted something on The Apron Stage today. Three cheers for the outside world! May I remain part of it for as long as possible...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

RJS

Jan 4 09




Ruby Jean Smylie. Lover of music, of soulful dancing, and questioning the obvious. She's painfully persistent. Her cheeks are always full of annoying noises saved for a long boring winter's day. She also likes to tell me what shape her poo turned out to be that day, "just like Wall-e's arm, Mommy!". She's tough, real tough, and real snuggly.

She often cups her hands around my face and repeats the same phrases over and over, "Lillie is a baby, huh? Lillie is a baby, huh? Lillie is a baby, huh?", and I answer "yes" every time. In that moment, I'm hers, all hers. I am really in love with her today.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

There's Nothing Quite Like

Eating cookie dough while watching The Biggest Loser.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Kristy Palizzi Ragsdale.


Today is the 1st anniversary of my friend's death. She was shot and killed last year on her 30th birthday by her estranged husband. Her mother was a few feet away from her at the time. She left two little boys behind which her mother now has guardianship over. The trial is not even close to over, but he is pleading guilty finally, which is something everyone is grateful for. Her mother wrote a very touching blog entry on her memory blog this morning as a tribute to her.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hi Ho, Hi Ho.

Gracie Begs

How do I let this chunk of fluffy beauty go out into the world? HOW? I am absolutely not ready for her to go back to the gritty, stringent kindergarten classroom, sweaty playground and anonymous cafeteria. The school schedule causes us to plunge back into those busy afternoons when she arrives home with murder on the brain and disrupts the peace of our home with the angst, jealousy and unrest that comes from being social and well behaved all day. I'm not ready for it. I want to keep her home, keep the comings and goings away and just listen to her and her sister's voice float through the air at lunch time while my heart beats calmly behind our locked front door.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

In With The New.






Here they are, the first photos of 2009. Out-of-focus and chaotic. I certainly hope they don't indicate how this year will go! All I know is it's going to go by fast, it always does.