Wednesday, July 25, 2018


My babies are five and headed to kindergarten in a few short weeks.  Truthfully, I've given very little brain space to this, and it feels anti-climatic, because they have been in full time school for two years.  Also, I did the IEP meetings for them months ago and now barely remember anything that will be happening.  I'm sure it will all work out. 😬😱

I totally freaked out two years ago when Bella, William and Violet all headed to school the same year.  And two years before that when Lily started kindergarten, I legit cried uncontrollably through the "Boo-Hoo Breakfast."  Even as I looked through those blog posts, the feelings came rushing back and I wondered if there might be more going on underneath my calm facade.  I'm regularly out of touch with what's really going on inside of me until I take a second to calm down.  Usually, I am busy planning the next fun thing or interacting with the person directly in front of me - most often, my children.

A couple of months ago, I read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, which was excellent.  One passage of her beautiful prose reached out to grab me, "To a parent, your child wasn't just a person: your child was a place, a kind of Narnia, a vast eternal place where the present you were living and the past you remembered and the future you longed for all existed at once. You could see it every time you looked at her: layered in her face was the baby she'd been and the child she'd become and the adult she would grow up to be, and you saw them all simultaneously, like a 3-D image.  It made your head spin.  It was a place you could take refuge, if you knew how to get in.  And each time you left it, each time your child passed out of your sight, you feared you might never be able to return to that place again."

This idea has lodged itself with me, and I consider it sometimes when I look at my children.  I can see so much when I take the time and space to look.  I see the babies they each were, beautiful in their own ways and unique in the journeys that brought them to me.  With my bio children, I am still shocked that they grew inside of me - that their lives would never have happened without my choices.  With my adopted children, I am still shocked that they grew outside of me, because a world where our lives did not collide feels unimaginable.  I see the long nights and fussy days and first solid foods and wobbly steps.  Babyhood feels like yesterday and forever ago.

I can see the children that stand before me.  The hazel eyes, the blue eyes and the sets of brown eyes that look into mine.  They find me in laughter, in fear, in pain, in irritation, in boredom and in joy.  Our connections feel bound by tiny cords that make up ropes that can pull taut with tension but never break under the weight.  There is a daily tug of war - we are pushing towards the end goal of independence while also knowing these precious years and moments are fleeting and cherished.


Sometimes, every so often, I see glimpses of the future.  It's cloudy and tends toward murky at best, because sometimes, fear comes for me.  The variables outside of my control that take no account of my desires add up as each day passes.  I see greatness in each child and their possible adult selves.  I hope for the very best.  I grieve the future heartache that I will not be able to staunch with a cuddle on the couch.

Each of my children have shining gifts and talents, and I hope and pray that God molds them all to his purposes and equips them to shine in their own ways as he sees fit.  This is the portion of the seeing that feels equally devastating and invigorating - God is writing their stories, not me.  And though I trust him as the author and know the ultimate ending, I understand that there are often hard chapters sprinkled into every book.  Mine is littered with them.

For right now, I want to be here, in this space, with these children that the Lord has somehow put into my charge.  It's beautiful and complex and riddled with potholes, but it's our road together.  As we walk, I want to remind myself to take it in, take one step at a time and always being glad when we are holding hands and in step with one another.

Sunday, July 22, 2018


Sometimes, a title like this would be referring to some storm of life circumstances that came as a shock.  Alas, no.  There was just a massive storm that took us all by surprise here in Little Rock that spread lots of debris in its wake and left many of us without power for quite a while.  Though, I will say, having an actual surprise storm crop up also creates a ripple effect of unexpected life carnage.

Here's how the weekend was SUPPOSED to got down.
It needed to be low key.  We wanted to hang out at our neighborhood pool most of the weekend and order pizza and put the kids to bed early and watch the Tour de France.  We have a busy couple of weeks coming up that slide us straight into the madness that is the beginning of the school year and wanted a little reprieve before it all.

Here's how the weekend ACTUALLY went down.
We ended up hanging out with friends late Friday night, after hanging out with friends at a pool party late Thursday night.  There was a little bit of rain and thunder Friday evening, but nothing prepared us for the craziness of that night/early morning.  At 3, John and I awoke to thunder claps and lightening that seemed more strobe light due to frequency.  It sounded like small objects were being hurled at our home.  John got up to go to the bathroom, and the power went out while he was in there.


On Saturday morning, my phone started pinging with messages from friends who were also without power.  Upon checking the outage map (something I got really good at during our extended power outage circa Christmas 2012), I could see that LOTS of people were in the same boat.  Thankfully, John's parents had power, as did some of our friends.  We split the day/night between family and friends, made the best of it and saved our food.  All in all, we fared very well, and our power came back on late last night.

(the recitation of this was priceless)

But, we did not come out unscathed.  We are exhausted - as are our children.  No one got as much rest as would be recommended ... hoped for ... desired.  Our hopes had been so high and all got dashed.  Instead, we got to shuffle stuff from fridge to fridge and clean up the debris in our yard.  (to be fair, John did most of both of those things)  We enjoyed our time with friends and family, but we are emerging more tired from it all.

For better and for worse, now anything like this happens to us, I am simultaneously so grateful and so guilty feeling about how many resources we have.  Guilty isn't really the right word, because I do understand that we are fortunate to have what we have, and guilt helps no one.  But, I am struck with how unfair life is, and how these hard events bring that even more to light.

We have many places to land and can afford to eat out and even as we are tired, I know we will eventually recover (i think? i hope?).  I'm always reminded that when crises happen to other subsets of the population, it can be devastating.  They don't have people to take them in or extra cash for food.  They are stuck, and it sucks all of their energy and more to just struggle through to get back to the norm where they were already struggling.

This always weighs on me to some extent, because I feel that we have been gifted so much in regards to relationships and resources.  I want to be grateful and hold them all with an open hand, and I want surprise storms to lead me towards gratitude instead of complaints and a bad attitude.  Because, we were inconvenienced and worn out over the 19 hours we spent without power in the heat of the summer, but at the end of the day, we were not in any way devastated by our experience.  And for that, I am beyond grateful.  And hoping for more sleep for everyone tonight.

Monday, July 16, 2018


So John and I both had major phone trouble a couple of weeks back - the kind where both phones (that were purchased together) quit connecting to the cell network.  🤦🏻‍♀️ Apple ended up giving us loaner phones while they "double-checked" that our phones were really and truly broken.  Spoiler alert: they were.  At the end of the day, I ended up upgrading (Yay!) and John got a new phone for free, so it wasn't all bad.

But, it did mean backing up phones and having to visit the Apple store several times while also not being very gracious about my loaner phone that had virtually no storage.  When I finally got my new phone, the first restore that I did failed to include many of my pictures from June.  Instead of panicking, I wiped the phone and did a second restore where I did manage to find them all.

Here's what could have been lost, broken into themed categories.

Pool Fun: This has been the summer of the pool for us.  It is finally one of the most relaxing places we can be as a family, and we are maximizing this!


Pool Fun includes a couple of subsets of themes such as,

Fun with the Giant Unicorn Inflatable:


and Pool with friends:


Another recurring theme I found was upside down twins, or, just pictures of the twins they wanted me to take. 🤣


Not surprisingly, the next theme was "injured child."  In this case, it was just William who managed to run a scooter into a wall at school which required a trip to his PCP for the largest goose egg I've yet encountered.  Thankfully, he was fine!


Another theme: summer snacks.

(All day minis!)

Since I have the big girls with me almost all the time, there is another theme of fun with the big girls!

Lego Camp:
Playdates with friends:
iPad fun:
Working at CFA:

We've also had lots of other random fun in several categories-
With friends:
(including accidental twinning)
(cheering on the Omahogs and having our hearts broken)

With family:
(happy birthday, Sharon!)

Clearly, we are enjoying our summer.  I'm SO SO SO glad these moments were not lost to us in cyber despair!