Thursday, August 21, 2014

.work + life.

The Marine Corps Aviation part of our lives can feel all-consuming sometimes. It's so easy for me to get wrapped up in the day-to-day. The constant long hours. The ever-changing schedule. The duty station far from home in a place I don't enjoy. And that can get exhausting. Until an evening like last night comes around.
My husband's squadron had an "open house" for new families (like us!).
It is always fun to meet my husband's commanding officers and their wives (who were just lovely and so welcoming). My boys were ecstatic to be in a building devoted to aviators, their personal heroes.
And then came the helicopter part.
The mechanics were gracious enough to let my boys sit in a helicopter. (They didn't want to get out!)
Air Traffic Control let them come into the tower and use their binoculars (J would not stop talking about that). Going up to the tower was an especial treat as the flight line was still active, and my boys were good, but still 2 and 3 year olds.
Even sweet A got to go on the tour. Not sure if she was impressed, though.
And I even got to fly the simulator...kind of scary. But J and W loved it. And that's really all that counts: sweet family moments.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

.sunday musings.

Remember when I said I wanted to start doing this every week? Here goes week two...several weeks later.

 

B - I love you. You had your first flight in a helicopter this week. I can hardly believe we've made it this far. And I can't wait to see what comes next.

J - Every day you are becoming more and more of a little boy and less and less a toddler. I overheard you singing to your sister this week while I was busy - little boy, you touch my heart.

W - You and I have gotten some one-on-one time this week, and sweet boy, it has been precious time to this mama. You have a way of expressing your thoughts with words that excites me for what's coming.

A - This week you turned two months - two months, baby girl! Each day with you is something to cherish. Your sweet smile and calm spirit continues to fill our home with joy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

.friendship.

You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.
A.A. Milne
I recently had a group of women over who, for the most part, didn't know each other. I do not take lightly the strength it takes to walk into a room a stranger...and leave a friend.
Ours is a constantly shifting community; coming and parting a rhythmic part of our lives. Someday we will have stability, but for now, we enjoy our moments together. We bond over chocolate, laughter, tears. We talk about what our husbands are doing. We share our frustrations. And it is good.
It is always fun to me that a group of women from different parts of the country, different backgrounds, different home life (those of us with kids need some friends without kids!) and get together and talk for hours. Our hearts crave fellowship, and indulging in that is refreshing to my spirit.
Thank you, dear friends, for being willing to step out of a comfort zone and be my friend.


Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: "What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Monday, August 11, 2014

.baby.

Before I got pregnant with our third baby, my husband and I knew this would be our last baby (and although our hearts are always open, no more babies is still where we feel called at the moment). And I wanted to cherish this pregnancy to the very last day. I had easy, relatively symptom-free pregnancies with both my boys and fully expected that with another baby.
And then it wasn't.
The week after I found out I was pregnant, the nausea kicked in. And the insomnia. And anxiety. And loneliness and isolation.
And those symptoms and feelings stayed with me all the way through my pregnancy.
I was so disappointed. I felt awful all the time. I felt like a terrible mama to my boys. I wanted this new baby so desperately, but I spent my days crying in my bathroom, repeating to myself over and over that it would be worth it. I didn't take any cute weekly pictures of a growing bump - it was all I could do to get dressed most days. I lost weight, then gained it back and more. Instead of treasuring my days carrying my little girl, every week that passed was just one less week that I had left being pregnant. And I was ashamed of those feelings. I knew there were so many women who would give anything to be pregnant and I just couldn't wait not to be pregnant.
And then she was here. The forty weeks that had dragged were gone.
And it was true, it was worth it. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat for this little girl (or any of my sweet babies).
So, take heart, dear ones, if you are struggling. It is worth it.

Friday, August 8, 2014

.grace.

I know....I KNOW....it's been forever. Guess I'm still learning to juggle three kiddos...

I took my boys to a store today. A store that is not my favorite. But it is close. We needed to get out of the house and get something new to do (we ended up with Hot Wheels coloring books, but that's not the point of the story). And my youngest boy had a screaming, crying meltdown...through the whole store. And more than one customer asked what was wrong, why wasn't he being good. And for an instant, I was embarrassed of my boy and his behavior. Thank goodness I was able to nip that yucky feeling in the bud, because just seeing my boy at his worst is like seeing one pixel of a masterpiece.

What they didn't see is:

my son is extremely smart (and I'm not just saying that!)

he is extremely kind and loves his siblings fiercely

he is an encourager

he is passionate (well, they saw that a bit)

he is handsome

and in this moment in time, he is mine. Mine to nurture, to snuggle, to read to, to care for. And I love him all the fiercer for the times when being a parent is hard.

We all have bad days and bad moments. Days when we need more grace. And sometimes, we just need a long nap to turn things around.

 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

.lists.

Staying home with my children is the biggest blessing of my life. I love it! (And, quite frankly, never really liked working in an office, even in my degree field)

But...it can feel a little unproductive. Laundry, dishes, vacuuming: even though these chores are a blessing to my family, they have to be repeated often and it can be discouraging to not "do" anything else all day.

So I write lists.

My mama is a list-writer, so I know I come by this habit honestly.

Because the needs and energy levels of my family fluctuate daily, I like to write a list for the week instead of a daily to-do list.

I put chores (laundry, cleaning), hobbies (quilting, silk screening, photography), quick tasks (empty the dishwasher), and long tasks (clean out the hall closet, clean the bathroom).

It's a good way for me to feel productive and make a good use of my time instead of letting things that should be done in moderation use up large chunks of time (Facebook and Pinterest, I'm looking at you two!).

I also have a lot of race tracks and rockets added to my lists when I'm not looking. I love it!
I'm also thinking of adding things like "change 15 diapers in one day" or "get everyone dressed by 8:30 am" as a sort of bingo-like challenge for my week...just to keep things interesting.

 

Monday, July 7, 2014

.happy happy day.

To the little boy who first made me a mama...
You make me smile every day.
Happy third birthday, baby boy! I love you!