Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Littlest Sister

Me: “Riley, did you ask Addalyn about her new baby brother?”
Riley: "Yes, she told me about him … Mom, we should get us one of those.”

The Lord has blessed us with another daughter, due in May. 

I cannot begin to explain how I treasure each kick and hiccup. I have officially given her permission to dance all day and night if this makes her happy. 

I fervently pray that she is born healthy and screaming at us but I also know that no matter how long or short her life is here, He promises an eternity together there. I am so grateful for this gift of love and grace and for the undeserved privilege of mothering another one of God’s precious children. In their own way, each of my children has taught me more about God’s love than I could ever hope to teach them. 

We are more than abundantly blessed.

Thank you for all of your prayers for our family - past, present and future. 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above ..." James 1:17

Friday, June 22, 2012


Here are a few (fairly) recent Riley-ism's that I've been holding on to with the hope that someday I would (will?) get back to a normal blog routine. However, if I wait any longer, she may be 10 and then you'll just wonder why our 10 year old still talks about farting and pooping (or maybe this is still normal?). Either way, I'm sure I'll get an earful from her someday for posting some of these. Sorry, buddy, but we all have to sacrifice to get this blog readership up. Well, you the most really. Mommy loves you.


Roger: "Do you think we can work out a better arrangement so that I don't have to spank you?"
Riley: "Dad, are you talking to me or to mom?"

Riley: "Mommy, Jesus watches us all the time. He watches what we're doing. We need to be nice to people because he is watching. That is why we don't hit people. Or be mean to people. Because Jesus is watching. Oh, and Santa too."

Me: "Riley, we'll play for five more minutes and then we need to start getting ready for bed, ok?"
Riley: "OK. Wait. How about 20 more minutes?"
Me: "No, five more minutes."
Riley: "Four more minutes?"
Me: "Okay!"
Riley: "Wait...."

Riley: "Where are we going?"
Me: "I need to stop to pick up my medicine."
Riley: (as we pull up to the Walgreen pharmacy drive thru) "Mom, is this the doctor's house?"

Me: "Is your nose running?"
Riley: (big long liquidy sniff) "No, I just put it back in."

Riley: "Mom, that wasn't a fart. It was just a piece of gas."

(In the public restroom together)
Riley: "Mom, can I look at your poop?" **
Me: "No."
Riley: "Plluueeeeze?"
Me: "No."
Riley: "Plluueeeeze? Real quick?"
Me: "No."
Riley: "Do you want me to wipe your bottom?"
Me: "No."
Riley: "Then can I look at your poop?"
Me: "No."

Me: "I really missed you today."
Riley: "I missed you too."
Me: "I thought about you all day."
Riley: "I thought about you all day too."
Me: "You did?"
Riley: "Yup."
Me: "We were thinking about each other at the same time!"
Riley: "Oh wait, I forgot. I wasn't thinking about you."
Me: "You weren't?"
Riley: "Sorry Mom."

**For the record, I never poop. I don't know where she comes up with these ideas. Kids.

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." 
Psalm 90:12 (ESV)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mother's Day

Riley: “Mommy, on Children’s Day, I think you will have to buy me some presents.”

A friend of a friend lost her two sons almost a year and a half ago. They were 9 and 12. They died in a car accident. 

I thought about her all day on Sunday. 

Job said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” -Job 1:21

I wake up on Sunday morning to sun peeking through the blinds and I look to my right. My four year old has snuck in during the middle of the night as she often does. She’s wedged her way in-between us and burrowed quietly into her safe place. 

A four year old’s world is so perfect in its simplicity.

Nearly every morning I wake up and look over and she’s there. I love this predictable pattern.

On Sunday morning, I watch her peaceful breathing as she sleeps. I let out a sigh that I hadn’t realized I’d been holding back. I snuggle up close to her, put my arm around her and pull her close, smelling her hair and feeling her warmth. Almost as if by instinct, she moves her body closer to mine, curling up next me and sighing too.

And I whisper, Thank You to my Lord for this most awesome gift.

The Lord gives.

After a little while she wakes up and I watch as she transitions quickly from woozy sleepiness to full alertness. Her face lights up as she remembers what the day is (having been reminded by Daddy a few times the night before). She looks over at me and a grin spreads across her face. 

With Christmas morning excitement in her voice, she says, “It’s Valentine’s Day, Mommy!” 

I chuckle and from the other side of the bed, Daddy, eyes still closed, groggily reminds, “Mother’s Day.”

“Oops! I mean Mother’s Day, Mommy! Happy Mother’s Day!” 

And I smile and whisper, Thank You Lord, for this most awesome gift.

We walk to church together that morning and I hold her hand as she walks beside me. A rare treat for me, the one with the child with uncontainable energy. Walking to church together. Kind of a Mayberry moment.

“Today’s a great day, Mommy,” she says as we walk. 

She’s wearing a summer dress and her hair is pulled back with a braid and barrettes. “I’m going to try and be really good today. For you. For Mother’s Day.”

And I melt. And try to burn this memory into my brain forever.

“Well, I think that would be the best gift you could give me,” choking back the lump in my throat.

She smiles and her step lightens, delighted that she has thought of the perfect gift by herself.

I am so lucky.

Why do I always want to add a “but” to that sentence?

It’s the lump in my throat. The nagging weight in my gut. The sharp pain on my heart. The constant envy of those who are na├»ve to the loss of a child. The nagging feeling that I’ve been cheated out of something that everyone else has received.

A little more pronounced on this day than most.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. -Hebrews 13:8

The verse on the wall at church reminds me.

I’m thankful for this God who is ferociously faithful even though I am not.

On Sunday, my four year old picks me flowers on the way home, draws me multiple pictures of myself and says “Happy Mother’s Day” to me about 50 times. She giggles at my reactions because I pretend each time, with an exaggerated surprise, that it is the first time she has said it. We share in each other’s joy and silliness – I love this exchange.

And I whisper, Thank You to my Lord for this most awesome gift.

I think this year was a little easier than last year.

This year, I’m not as tempted to imagine each moment differently. Always thinking of what could have been on this day.

And to me, that feels like progress. 

...we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. 
-Romans 5:3-4

At the end of the day, I rest my head on my pillow and let out a sigh and I am still. Grateful for the blessings of the day but also grateful that it’s over. My heart is tired.

As I start to fall asleep, I’m still thinking about a mom who grieves her two boys - probably a little more this day than the others … and I’m wondering if she is also grateful that this day is over. And I am praying for her tired heart.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

My New Year's Resolutions

I love car ride conversations with Riley:
R: Mom, I can't wait until I'm older like a Mommy, too.
Me: Sure - maybe someday you will be Mommy and have a baby of your own. That would be nice.
R: Yeah! Cool.
Me: What do you think your baby's name will be?
R: hmmm.... (pause) ... I think his name will be Pirate.
Me: Pirate?
R: Yeah, Pirate.
Me: That's an interesting name. You don't think he'll have a name like Bob or Jack or something like that?
R: No, he'll probably be Pirate. (pause) Actually, when I'm a Mommy, I want to have cats instead.
Me: Cats?
R: Yes, I want to have lots of cats. And they can play with Simon [our dog]. Simon will like them. (laughing) He is going to think they are so fun!

I love the idea of New Year's Resolutions. I love the idea of a fresh start each year. But like most people, they are most exciting and motivating to me on January 1. Then, by January 2, I usually have broken one (or more), become frustrated (because I'm competitive and have an "all or nothing" personality flaw) and then more or less decided it's not worth keeping them for the remainder of the year.

Case in point: one of my resolutions this year was to blog more often - maybe once a day?  After missing day 1, I was ready to scrap my blog altogether. All or nothing.

So on Jan 2, I decided that resolution #2 is to let go of my "all or nothing" attitude. Which is really hard for me for some reason. I'm the type that will either spend all day cleaning house or just leave it a total disaster. The in-between doesn't make any sense to me. Why bother if you are only doing something halfway? This is also why I usually won't write a blog post unless I can spend hours editing and perfecting it.

But I'm working on that. This one may have a lot of typos and spacing issues. Here's to letting go of my control issues!

If you're curious, here is a list of some of my other resolutions for this year (in no particular order): 

3. Enjoy each day with a full focus on that day. No more dwelling on the past and no more waiting for tomorrow with so much anticipation. 
4. Worry less. Smile and laugh more.
5. Stop complaining. About anything.
6. Learn the art of contentment. Or at least commit to be an attentive student. (See resolution #3, #4 and #5.)
7. Really be there. Step away from my phone/computer in the evening when I'm with Riley.
8. Play dress up, dance and sing more often. (see resolution #7)
9. Patience, patience, patience. Mommy'ing a three year old is hard (not a complaint - a fact!) But what a gift it is to be her mom.
10. Tell people more often how much I love them and tell them, very specifically, why I think they are awesome.
11. Thank my parents more often.
12. Go on more dates with my husband.
13. Less nagging, more hugging. 
14. Pray more often and with more abandonment.
15. Lead more, manage less. Hopefully inspire.
16. Get more sleep.
17. Talk to more strangers. (Don't worry, Mom. I'll be careful.)
18. Give more. Without any expectation and with a full heart.
19. Take more risks. Be more open to feedback and mistakes.
20. Forgive more often and without judgment or hesitation. Practice humility.

What are some of your resolutions this year?

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Treasures

Merry Christmas, my sweet Reese.

I have missed you all day ... just like every day of the year. But my heart is so full because I know my littlest treasure is surrounded by love, joy and peace as you celebrate Jesus' birthday with him. What a celebration it must be! I can't wait to hear all about it someday and even celebrate with you. It must be so glorious!

You are so missed and so loved. You are such a treasure to your Mommy and you have brought me such joy by just being you.

I'm sending kisses to Heaven to you tonight and hoping you catch them all.

I love you,

"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
Luke 2:19

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I Am Looking Good

Riley: "Mommy, I think I need some exercise on the treadmedal."

Riley painted a picture of me today. 

I'm pretty proud of my long legs and big eyes. 

Ok, eye.

Live each day this week with hope, joy and peace.

"Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
Psalm 25:4-5

Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Halloween in Pictures

Riley: Mommy, are you going to be Cinderella for Halloween, too?
Me: No, I don't have a costume this year. 
Riley: Then what are you going to be?
Me: I guess I'll just be Mommy this time.
Riley: Ooooooh ... that will really be spoooooooky! I can't wait to see your Mommy costume!
"The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad." Psalm 118:24 

Lord, thank you today for:
  • Good neighbors, good friends
  • Childhood joys like costumes and candy
  • Princess squeals and laughter
  • The simplicity and innocence of children's friendships
  • The feel of my daughter's hand in mine
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