Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Slipping into fall

This past week I had the pleasure of taking a quick trip with my husband and two girls, along with my mother and sister to El Cajon, CA (in San Diego county) to visit my Grandparents and my wonderful cousin Abby Faith. 
       Sequoia experienced her first time flying (and did quite well) as did Mikaiah, though any parent who has traveled with little ones will tell you that even when children travel well it is still exausting, though worth it.  We didn't do a whole lot while we were down there (Sea World, Legoland, Disneyland and all the rest Southern California has to offer will have to wait until they're old enough to truly appreciate it) but what we did do, we thoroughly enjoyed.  In fact, it was really wonderful to watch Mikaiah discover the joy of her first Carousel at Balboa park (though the rest of us enjoyed it as much or more I believe) and the fun to be had on the little train.  We strolled alongside the turtle pond and did a quick tour of the Arboretum and then left before the littles got too hungry or tired, with no pressure from a spendy ticket to stay longer than we were want to.  Truly liberating.  An evening spent playing in a kiddie pool in the backyard and spending precious time with the grands was perfect. The next day we lounged on the beach at Coronado and swam in the Ocean. The mid-seventies temps were enjoyable without being overbearing. 
      After having such a lovely trip you might think that my heart sank when I saw the rains pouring down out the plane window, but it was really quite the opposite.  Like a sweet welcome home shower.  It's truly Autumn and I'm ready for it.  Don't get me wrong, I love summer. But I also love Autumn, Winter, and Spring.  They all have their place in my book.  I've grown up with seasons and I need them.  Without those changing leaves and different weather patterns I would really feel I was missing out.  The changes invigorate me.  I truly am an Oregon girl.  I do believe Mikaiah is too.  She smiled with glee at the rain and after donning her raincoat and rain boots asked for her "Gabas" which is what she calls her Umbrella.  After a hard winter however, her little umbrella was sadly broken.  Not to worry, a quick search on Amazon and a not so swift decision made by both Mikaiah (for style) and myself (for price) has a new little butterfly umbrella on its way.  All ready for a wonderful (but most likely very short) life at the hands of my 2 year old.  That's okay, everyone needs a fun way to welcome fall.  One day Mikaiah will learn that Oregonians don't actually use umbrellas, we're more like fish in that respect, but she can enjoy it in the meantime.  I however will enjoy fall with a fresh batch of loose leaf Madagascar Vanilla tea and a relaxing (though brief) nap time break.  
      Happy Autumn Everyone! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rejoice! This is the day which the Lord has made!

       From my cozy bed I hear a little voice call out my name, the lovely cloud of sleep hovering about my head resists answering and the voice goes away, but all too soon it repeats itself "mommy!  mommy!" Pause...."MOMMY!!!"  It will not be ignored.  I glance at my phone and notice 5:59 am on the screen, uggh.   Clumsily I slip out of bed, trying not to wake my sleeping infant beside me and go into Mikaiah's room where she (in an all too awake voice) informs me that she was scared, but she can't remember what she was scared of, and that she is hungry.  I tell her it's not time to get up and ask her if she wants a granola bar, she nods and then follows me out to the kitchen where I grab one for her.  I tell her she can cuddle on the couch with her blankets but that it is NOT time to get up.  I stumble back to my room and fall asleep, only to be awakened 10 minutes later by her calls again.  I get up and answer the call, finding a crumbled granola bar all over the couch and carpet (good thing I stayed up late cleaning the house.) My daughter is covered with chocolate chips (from the granola bar) smeared all over her face and hands, asking to watch "Shaun the sheep" (which really just means she wants to watch a show on netflix.) I resist giving in, but in my groggy state I grudgingly put it on for her thinking maybe I can grab 20 more minutes of sleep as I walk down the hall toward my room, but then I hear what I was afraid of, the stirrings of  Sequoia coming from my bed.  It's over.  I can't put it off much longer, so I quickly make a detour to the bathroom and jump in the shower (I have learned that if I don't take a shower in moments like this I don't get one at all...there is no ideal time to take a shower as a stay at home mom.)   Sigh.  Morning is here and I have a choice, right now standing in the shower (for all of 2 minutes) how I am going to respond to this day I have been given.   I can grumpily get out and take care of my children and let the day push me along, or I can choose to rejoice and enjoy those lovely little girls (crying now coming from my room.)  I choose to rejoice.
       Everyone tells you these times pass too quickly.  Parents say it,  the neighbors say it, even the lady behind you at the grocery store looking on as you struggle with two grumpy children says it, heck I've even said it (to other people of course!)  "They grow up too soon" they all say, "enjoy it while you can."  I mumble an affirmative while shuffling my children off to wherever we are going next, but the truth is, they're right.
        With Sarah's passing this past month I have thought a lot about why we are here on earth and the conclusion I've come to is relationships.  We're here to have relationships with one another and to love one another in the way that Christ loved us, and gave himself for us. I realized the most important thing to me is not trying to see how long I can live, or even how successful I can be or how many places I can travel to, it's the people in my life.  At the end of the day I want people to look back on my life and see me as someone who put others first.  Someone who loved those around her and not only when it was convenient to do so.  Someone who loved as Jesus loves and who gave herself for them.  I don't want to waste my time complaining, what a horrible way to spend my time.  That's not how I want to live, and how I live my life today, how I respond to the challenges of this day is how I am living my life.  I think sometimes we talk about how we should live as though it is this time in the future that never really gets here, but it's not.  It's now, and some of the most important people in my life now are these two wonderful little girls I am have been blessed with, along with my amazing husband (something I need to remember when he comes home from a long day at work and sits down to relax while I continue to clean the house and change diapers.)   I am so grateful to have such a wonderful family,  I don't want to miss out on any of it.  Not even at 6 am.  This is the day which the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. No exceptions.  Not only Tuesday through Sunday, everyday.  This is what I need to remember and remind myself of.  Thank you Mikaiah for that "gentle" reminder this morning. Now I need to end this so I can fetch her some cheerios and feed my little one.