Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Lately, Amanda's new favorite thing is the "peatot".  This started out as her word for "teapot," but seems to have become her word for all things encompasing her new kitchen.  She yells "peatot, peatot," and summons people to her room by waving or pointing. 
Usually, I get suckered in by her excitement and follow her down the hall into her room.  It is then she pats the floor,"chair chair" (her words for sit).  If by chance you don't sit, the cute little child inviting you to tea, starts to turn tyranical, "CHAIR CHAAAAAIR".  Well, Yes Mam!
And so you sit, with puppy and baby and get served tea.  She rustles around the kitchen, getting out the pots and pans, throwing in plastic food, doctoring it with splashes from her baby's bottles and sippy cups and serves you up.  She feeds puppy and makes smacking noises for him.  My favorite part is that she closes the doors with her elbows...just like me, cuz her hands are too full.  She's got it down, that little lady! 
Sometimes, I am so tired.  I have a zillion things to do and frankly, "peatot" does not sound like fun.  I know that if I follow the summons, I will indeed be criss cross applesauce for quite awhile eating plastic carrots and fries (I don't like carrots).  My legs and imagination, both seem to be getting to old for this.  But my baby is getting old...she's probably not going to want to play "peatot" much longer.  I kept feeling like I should play with her.  I didn't want to forget these moments.  Then I got a brilliant idea.  I video taped it to remember.  Isn't that what good moms do?
It did occur to me, as I was taping, that maybe...me remembering isn't quite the point.  Maybe it's her remembering.  Really, remembering.  That Mommy spent time with puppy eating her plastic goodies and dancing along with the teapot songs.  Remembering mommy helping baby drink her tea, and yes, possibley, remembering Mommy falling as she tried to uncross her extra stiff legs to get off the ground. 
I am still glad I remembered to video tape it.  It will be fun to watch.  She's awfully cute in her little nightgown.  But I have decided, it doesn't necessarily get me off the hook from eating my plastic carrots.  Somethings you do because they are good for you...I genuinely believe this is one of them!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Gavin...turned six Sept. 3
First thing in the morning comes out, stretches his arms super wide:
"Mom am I six today?"
"I mean today, today.  Right now."  (arms stretching up)
"That's sooo great!  My pajamas still fit!"

Amanda turned two Sept. 10th: 
Someone gave her the memo about twos, cuz she was quite the little lady and I won't give the details, in order to preserve her self esteem should she ever read this.  But...but, she was so cute in her birthday girl shirt and to everyone who said "Happy birthday" to her, she responded
"Two" and then launched into her own birthday song.  So much personality in one little person!


Frankly, it's been a hard few weeks.  So much change...some to be expected, like school, preschool, the start of new activities, some unexpected, like the loss of a child's life. In the last few days, I have had many a moments where when I stop, take a deep breath to push back the tears, grab at any iota of patience, understanding, grace, that God is willing to dole out and trudge ahead.  It does feel a bit like trudging lately.
As I have admitted, I believe many times, I am type A.  I always have these great plans, ideas, thoughts of the way things should go.  I do wonder how often God gives a silent chuckle at my ideas...like when I try to watch my child put on my big shoes and take a jog around the house.  So proud she has them on, so sure she knows what she's doing.  I laugh, with love.  They are too big and after the first few steps she is flat on her face.  I hug her.  I pick her up...and I either help her walk, or find shoes that fit.  Oh if only I would wait for God's help or for Him to fit me with the right shoes.  It would really work better if I just trusted him for things, instead of trusting that He'll bless my ideas and the shoes I pick out. 
Lately, plans have been all out of whack.  I have been over extended, overtired, and well, frankly, overwhelmed.  Most of it, is because I want to refuse the cards I have been dealt.  Instead of asking God to help me play the hand, I keep trying to give the cards back asking for different ones.  The irony of this...the other day I was actually offered to switch some things around in my schedule, get the cards I want, if you will.  I would have had the kids all in the places I wanted them to be at first...the schedule I thought would be best for us.  I was about to jump on the opportunity, when a small nudging told me to wait.  I took the time to assess things and sure enough...what I had wanted, what I was so sure would have been so much better, wouldn't work at all and also would have deprived me of some great opportunities.  Figures.
I feel like God's been whispering in my ear, "deal".  As in, just deal with it. Whispering, "Don't push back.  Don't look for your way, but let me have My way in you. I got this...you just have to trust Me."
And so, I am going to do my best to take the cards dealt, trust that to God, somehow my Royal Mess can be His Royal Flush. 
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vienne Juliet

This weekend we attended the memorial service of a sweet four year old little girl, who died tragically in her home on Thursday.  Vienne Juliet.  The daughter of our friend's Mark and Jenny.
I will admit to not knowing Vienne well.  Mark is my friend from college (well elementary school really, but that's another story).  They live in Oregon and we see them once a year or so.  Jenny and I became facebook "friends".  I do believe, this is one instance, where facebook really has made me feel closer to someone.  I loved watching her little girl grow up via photo and snippets of insight into her enchanting personality.  Jenny is a devoted mom, who just adores her daughters (she also has a 9 month old, Ivy).  You can tell through how she talks about them that she works hard to be the mom God wants her to be.  I love following her journey of motherhood and admire her.
Thursday night scrolling through facebook, I read the post about Vienne's sudden death and my heart began an ache.  It has yet to subside.  Was it a cruel hoax?  Did someone hack their accounts?  It didn't seem real.  It didn't seem right.  And yet I went back to check again and again, thinking... maybe it'd be gone.  It wasn't.
Shawn and I were just about to sit down and finish the details of Gavin's 6 year old birthday party the next day and I just sat there with the favors and crafts in front of me, sick to my stomach.  Neither of us knew what to do or say.  We mechanically finished our party prep and went to bed quietly numb.  The whole week has felt that way, slightly numb.
As I mentioned, I have only intereacted with little Vienne a few times.  I remember meeting her as a newborn.  She was about the same age as Brayden and so very tiny.  I loved it.  Just a little thing.  It was fun that they were the same age and so cute together.  I also remember last summer, pulling up to the Piscitelli's house and seeing Vienne peek out from behind her dad's leg.  She was still tiny, but so fun and sweet and had a wonderful sparkle in her eye.  She had done something, I can't remember, but I know it wasn't any big deal and her mom told her she had to sit at the top of the stairs and she could come down when she was ready.  Awhile later, we realized she never came back down and she had thought she had to stay there and had done so quietly, even though she thought she'd miss out on playing with her friends.  So sweet and genuinely good.
I loved seeing the fun posts her mom put up, excited to see her grow up, until we could see her again.  I loved each time we got to see her in person.  Interacting with the little person we saw smile back at us from the computer and getting the opportunity to witness first hand the individual her mommy wrote about and posted pictures of. 
To believe she is gone from this life is hard to swallow.  It's not natural.  It's not the order of things.  Even after attending the beautiful memorial put on for her, I still cannot believe the next time we visit, she won't be there behind her dad's leg, just a little taller.
Vienne had many people attend her memorial.  I was so amazed at all those she touched in what, in my opinion, was too short a time down here.  I probably shouldn't have been, she was just an amazing little girl!  I am grateful to have known her...I am grateful her parents shared so much about her.  I am grateful I can tell the story of a four year old little girl who impacted so many lives for the better...for Jesus.  I only hope my life can do the same!

Friday, September 7, 2012


We started school.  Real School...the kind that has lots and lots of big kids and allows backpacks with zippers. 
Gav did great.  I figured as much, he loves new things (that he's been told about) he loves structure and he loves learning.  Walked in, without looking back.  I did great too.  My other two give me very few moments to lament the passage of time and how big my kids really are. 
What I have not been doing great with is our schedule.  Gav is only in school for a little over two and a half hours and Bray is in two and a half hours three days a week...these hours do not line up super well.  Plus, we live close enough to walk and the parking lot has about two spots (okay maybe 30...but still, in a school with 500+ kids, it may as well be two) to park.  So we have to walk....but I am not sure how to pull this off with Bray's drop off.  Argh...we'll figure it out.  It's just a lot to load the kids all up strollering back and forth 2x a day.  I am trying not to get disgruntled with this system.  Sometimes it seems like so much work for such a small task.
Yesterday, I watched as my boys skipped home ahead of me and had an opportunity to check my attitude.  It was lovely out, the sun was bright and warm on our faces.  Amanda was laughing in her stroller, yelling "two three go" to the boys and the boys skipped and laughed most the way home.  I was grateful for the time.  Pretty soon, the boys and Amanda will be walking themselves to and from school, no stroller no hand holding...no mom.  Oh it seems far away...but so did Gav's Kindergarten. 
But for the next three or four years, I get to walk with them.  I get to hold hands, talk about the day, listen to their chatter, the things that make them laugh.  I get to be with my kids.   I am blessed
I will forever have the mental picture of my boys ahead of me, sun shining down, Gav's bright green backpack on, heads bent together conspiring and the sound of Amanda's laughter from the stroller below.  And if I do indeed stroll and take the time in these "tasks"...I believe I will get more of these moments.  I must say, I am looking forward to that!