Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Grade

How can it be possible that this little munckin started first grade yesterday? I knew back then how much I loved her. How much her smile could light up a room and how her head on my shoulder had magical powers that made my world slow down for a bit. But, I had no idea how funny she would be. How adventurous and strong and smart she was. How she would keep me on my toes and on my knees. No idea how much delight I would feel when I saw her light up as she talked about school.
So, here we are. First Grade. She's ready. She's always ready. But, we'll miss her at home. And little sister was none too happy when Hope smiled and waved and ran into her room.

So I did what any decent mom would do. I snapped a picture. And then, I gave her a big hug and a piggy back ride all the way home.

The littlest one took it all in stride.

How did I ever get so lucky as to parent these three lovely creatures?

The House: Part 2

I haven't posted in a while and there is good reason. Darn good reason. Anyone who has ever moved with three children knows that just getting everyone fed, in the midst of all that needs to be done, is an accomplishment. Packing and, now, joyfully unpacking have left little time for anything else. But, now that we are able to see the floor (somewhat), it's all starting to feel a little more normal.

The house that God gave us (see this post if you aren't familiar with this story) is amazing. Just what we have always dreamed of. With lots of neat features like these cool old gas lamps that were turned into electric ones,

awesome doors, including a pocket door from the living room into the dining room and a swinging door from the kitchen to the dining room (can't you just see me in my apron swinging through that door with a silver tray in my hand merrily saying, "we've got crabcakes" in a sing songy voice? No? Too 1950's? Well, then you don't know me at all. I am sooooooo 1950's),

a lovely hearth with fireplace, built-in bookcases and, the kicker, windows that peek through to the kitchen. Oh how I love those windows!

It has all the lovely things that you would expect a one hundred year old home to be filled with. But, it's also filled with lots of wallpaper. Lots and lots of wallpaper. The likes of which make my eyes hurt.

Wallpaper like this (at one point someone said, "honey, wouldn't this be romantic in the master bedroom? I know how much you love pink and blue flowers.")
and this ("wouldn't it be wild if we tried to find wallpaper for the bathroom that made people dizzy when they went in there?")

and this (I do not understand ivy wallpaper. Nobody has real ivy growing inside all over their walls. Why would someone want to pretend they do?)

and this (Thomas Kincade lovers, eat your heart out!)

And I'm just getting started. There are 10 rooms in this house with wall paper in them. TEN! So, it has inspired much of this

and this (FYI...this bedroom had 7 layers of wallpaper. 7! I feel like I gained some square footage in the room just by removing it. And, because they are so awesome, I have to mention that a bunch of Young Life kids came over during their last week of summer and helped us strip this wall paper. They rocked!)

and this

I just can't help myself. It starts with me noticing a little rip in the wall paper and the next thing you know, whole walls of it are coming down. It's addicting. Like peeling a sunburn only not as gross.

We have lots of wallpaper stripping in our future and it's not gonna happen overnight. But, we love our new place and all of it's oddities. Mostly because it feels blessed by God. A good gift from One who knows us so well. And one we know he plans to use to bring people to him. And we can't wait to see what he has up his sleeve.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I think that having a three year old is one of the most perfect stages in all of parenthood. Some of you with your own little three year old will laugh at that statement. But, I think you know it's true. It's not because I love temper tantrums or illogical questions or that shift from napping to not napping. I'm not crazy. It's just that, at three, a distinct personality begins to come out in full force and it leaves little doubt about who this child will be. The details of their lives and the specific ways their personality will show itself may be a mystery as of yet, but there are very few questions about how this child sees and interacts with the world. Three is when I begin to have those moments where the curtain between now and years from now falls away and, for brief snatches of time, I can see and hear and smell my daughter at 15, 16, 23...saying something in the exact same way she does now, only she's bigger. At three, I can experience parts of her that will be the same when she is all grown up, only I don't have to let go of her just yet. I love three.

Bella is three and we are experiencing all of the above. When I see her love for books or for art and music, my heart is full with the thought of all we will enjoy together. When I see her being a mother to her "honeys" (her dollies), I just know that mothering will come more naturally to her, and I can imagine the delight it will be to watch her with her own children. And the conversations we have! Loren and I have a perpetual "trying to hold it in" grin on our faces when she talks to us because she is just so cute. Her head slightly cocked and eyebrows raised when she's feeling particularly sassy, her seriousness in conveying her side of the story, her confident way with mispronounced words (the latest, "scone" is the most obvious pronunciation of a favorite flavored ice treat). All of it will be present in one way or another in the grown up version of Bella. And, oh my, the clumsiness...and the way she laughs it off, gracefully allowing us all to have a giggle at her expense. I see her becoming who she is and it's one of my deepest joys.

And, I guess it's one of my greatest hopes as well. I hope, as she grows and changes and understands more and more about who God created her to be, that she would be confident in the fact that I see her. That, even if she is quieter and doesn't demand as much attention, she would feel known and enjoyed and appreciated for the perfectly unique reflection of God that she is. That she would know what a delight she is to Loren and to me and most of all, to the God who made her Bella...beautiful one. I pray that she would know that her quiet spirit and sweet nature is a strength and not a weakness. That she would embrace her beautiful, vulnerable heart. The one that makes others take a deep breath and slow down for a moment to bask in her sunshine.

I know she'll be all grown up one day. And I'm already starting to see what that may look like. But, for now, I'll just concentrate on enjoying three. Because 23 will be here before I know it. And letting her go is not something I'm ready to think about just yet.