"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

"For You O Lord are a shield about me, You are the glory and lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Carry Your Heart

We enjoyed the last official day of summer at our house and happily partook in the casual morning of mama folding laundry over cups of coffee and sisterhood growing in giggles and play.

We swam with sweet friends and let babies splash with popsicle hands while we caught up on life.
Then retreated back home for overcast cloudy naps for tired babes.
with Emma & Stacie and those baby girls

This mama's heart still feels like a little girl sometimes.  Still needing her daddy.  
My crepe myrtles are the only thing still alive in my backyard.  I smile each time I see them blooming and I remember him while my babies play.
Crepe myrtles, smokey scents from the grill, the little old man who looks just like him in Panera each week.
I carry him in my heart.
She giggles and I turn to look.  Because he's filling up her heart with an honoring love and affection.  
My heart is happy.  Grateful. 
And my sports fanatic husband turns into mush, a completely unhindered and uncomposed man when he celebrates her.  Bunny knows it too.
How big is Ali?
So big! 

Bear went to sleep excited.  She knew what tomorrow would hold.
with sweet Toni
First day of school.
Her school packet had sheets on how to help your child cope with separation anxiety, leaving the car in the drop-off line, making adjustments to change.  Sister has no clue what this is or why it would possibly be challenging.  My pediatrician shook his head when after asking me every visit how separation anxiety was going, at 9 months, 12 months, 2 years...the response was always the same.
She has no problem leaving me.
We read the books about mommy fitting in her pocket as she goes to school.  She thinks it's cute but nothing more.  And that's just fine by me.

She requested the Pioneer Woman's breakfast sandwich to fill her tummy on her first day.  We happily included her new show to our cooking episode line up...and I cranked out a baby-on-the-hip version of the dish.

Drop off was easier than last year.  I practically did long-division in my head to keep from crying, repeating to myself over and over keep it together, keep it together.
My girl gently reminds me it's only 2 days a week.
I know Love, I know.

And I carry her in my heart all day.  
We spent today completely unproductive and made no strides in the things to be done.  I keep staring at my to-do list and piles of stuff everywhere that need to be taken back to their place.
But she wants to play, and paint, and feed her baby sister.  She wants to take advantage of the cloudy day and climb into mama's bed to watch Sleeping Beauty for the hundredth time.
So we did.
Best.  Day.  Ever.
We'll go pick her up soon and I'll play it cool like I did this morning.
But deep down I'm a nut.  Crazy in love with her and excited to hear about her day.
Waiting for the welcome mat into her heart.
I carry hers in mine.

I carry your heart with me {I carry it in my heart}
I am never without it {anywhere I go you go, my dear}...
EE Cummings

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend Joys

Boo got her hair chopped this weekend.

Sister despises me fixing her hair.  Even on mornings of success of twirling braids and curls, it still ends up looking like this 5 minutes later, followed by the evening joy of combing through the tangles.  Not my favorite way to close out the day.
So mama laid it down this weekend.  Chop.  Chop.
The day of good news from Alice's doctors ended with our kitchen sinks filling with sewage.
A pitiful attempt from the enemy to close out the day in frustration, trying to steal our joy with mess, horrible stench, and hassle.  Bring it on.  I laughed.  Because it doesn't matter.
That precious little one is tucked in tight, sawing logs and dreaming dreams, cuddled between her 2 lovies in her cozy crib.  She's growing and experiencing restoration from her Father.
Bring on the mess.  I can deal.

She will look back on this season some day as a toddler, as a little girl.  And she will know and see that He moved in power in her tiny body.  She will hear the stories, because we will tell them, of how she fought hard and how He sustained her.  How doctors changed their minds and feeding tubes were dismissed.
Heaven on earth, baby girl.

After the kitchen sink mess was cleaned up, we had some more celebrating to do.  Emma and Sophie are donut consumers, they take after their mama.  They are back sharing a room together again and some big girl choices were warranting some rewards.  A simply fantastic kickoff for the weekend approaching.

Little one had a taste of goodness too.  Secret's out.

It gets better.  My mama and brother came for the weekend.  We made our regular trip to Target in search of treasures.  This trip, 1st day of school outfits and shoes.

Not before we filled our bellies with cinnamon raisin waffles.

Cinnamon Raisin Waffles
Use your favorite waffle recipe.
I used Bisquick.  No shame in the box stuff.
add to it:
- 3 teas. cinnamon
- 2 teas. sugar
- 1 teas. vanilla
- 1/2 c. raisins (the hubs isn't crazy about this part so you can certainly omit this step)
- dig in, after thoroughly soaking it in syrup and butter
As always, the weekend delivered.
Babies were loved on.  Doing nothing was embraced.

We are drinking in summer to the very last drop.  This one starts school on Tuesday.  She clarifies 2-35 times a day that school is coming.  We've met the teachers, purchased her school supplies, and her backpack came in the mail.  She's ready.
Mama is working on it.  I love that she loves school.  I love our school.  I love her teachers.
But I am already sad about dropping her off in a few days.  Watching my little free spirit sache into her classroom, not even glancing back at the car.
This one will leave for far off places some day.  I know it deep in my soul.
I think Baby Lynn will stick closer to home.  Not sure.  Her independence comes in spurts usually coupled with determination and flare.
I like it.
Tonight I watched Bunny her play in bubbles until the day's adventure faded and only left a sun-kissed baby smelling sweet and fresh.  I nursed my tiniest one and went to lay her in her crib but she nuzzled into my neck like she did the first time we met.  She does this from time to time and it melts me.  We rocked and cuddled until her breath changed into a slow rhythm of tenderness.
I love this thing of motherhood.  I love these moments when I know I have been entrusted with treasures.  There's no price tag to be attached to a soft, sweet babe in your arms.  It's a privilege and a gift.  
Only a sliver of the weekend joys.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Change: Alice Update

Change, she's a comin'.

Summer is commencing and on the new horizon, a fabulous fall awaits.  We are eagerly anticipating its arrival with thankful hearts.  Celebrating hearts.
Ali Beth has some changes she wants to share.

We had 2 appointments this week with her GI doctor and plastic surgeon.
Sister is packing on the pounds, weighing in at 16.10 pounds.  That's my girl, growing like He said she would. And don't think I haven't been cranking out butter sandwiches for that baby, cause mama know a thing or two about butta'.
The surgeon did a whole body check and found nothing, no more tumors.  And the site of her removed tumor looks perfect.  Perfect.  He went on to say we are changing the plan of appointments every 3 months and instead, he'll see us in one year.
Mama is crying.  A lot.  
Girlfriend knew it all along I think.

More change is coming.  Soon it will be fall.  The hubs will melt into the couch on Sundays to watch football set to the background music of chili, cheerfully bubbling on the stove.
We'll hang cinnamon scented brooms and pumpkins around the house, lighting Autumn spice candles that welcome in the cool breezes and crisp fall air.
We sampled the season to come by meeting Emma's teachers today.
And getting fitted for ballet and tap shoes.
This week, we relished in the last few days of summer.  We made mud pies and chased rainbows in the sprinklers.  We swam with friends and carried our lunch bowls around the house to nibble while we created.

Asher, a Doke house favorite

The last act of summer's performance brought my friend Daena from Wisconsin.  Her family is strong and firmly rooted in His promises.  She's loves her husband and raises her babies with a grace and tenderness I wish I could witness every day.  She's just lovely.

A perfect finale to the summer's end.

Holding babies and sipping coffee in the morning, pretending like we don't all need to be dressed-ponytailed-lipstick-wearing-clean-lil'-mamas busting out the door for school.

This one has change coming too.  She'll start music school in a few weeks.  She can hardly stand the wait.
Soon enough little one.

Mama will spend lots of time in the car dropping off and picking up lovelies to and from.  Snapshots into their world when they share about their day and the smells and adventures still on their clothes and in their hearts.

We can't wait for our pansies and pumpkin nursery to open on Main Street.  He will come home and smile, shaking his head because this house of crazy girls get excited 'bout stuff like that.

Fall is coming and she's bringing change in more ways than one.
We are celebrating.  Celebrating the good news from today, the change in the plan of action for Bunny, the scrapping of appointments and tests.  
She's a world changer, you know.  Sister's got stuff to do.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior so are children of the youth. Psalm 127:4
My daughter, Alice Elizabeth, who I am so proud of.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Deep in the Heart of Texas

I smile as I type.  We had a lovely weekend.  Last night, all 3 babes were tucked in, fast asleep.  I could hear her sweet breath rise and fall as she dreamed.
This morning, the tasks of unpacking and laundry over coffee drenched in vanilla cream.  One by one, little babies trickled out of their rooms with wobbly bodies and puffy sun-kissed faces.
The weekend delivered.
We welcomed in the weekend with frolicking in the sprinklers, cushioned by beautiful rows of fresh cut grass.  
Waiting for him to come home.

My girl proudly made me a bracelet fastened with fashionable staples and green marker.
I love this.

The heat combined with Sophie's sore throat meant rescuing by the blender.
Raspberry smoothies were in order.
Raspberry Smoothies
- hand full of raspberries (any berry will do)
- (1 serving) of yogurt
- 1/2 c. milk
- splash of lemon juice
- few handfuls of ice
Slurp it up, baby.
Then off to my hubby's hometown of Dallas.  Car packed, babies buckled, and we set off for the toasty state.
We didn't do much but pile on high the sweet time with friends and family.  Nothing to be measured in productivity.
More so in our hearts.
Plenty of memories to be stored in eager hearts already asking for the next visit.
with Nicolette
We talked about our babies, some still babbling in tenderness and some on the brink of college choices.  I watch my lovely sister-in-laws as they love their little ones now not so little, now driving cars and making choices for their forever.
Uncle John

And the simplicity and play of the weekend makes me want to freeze my girls in time.
I've had strangers say to me in the grocery store when I'm wrangling my babies Don't worry, it gets easier.
Truth is, I think it's harder to let them go.  I love my every day and I don't want to rush it for anything or anyone.
I know the days of high school and college will be here soon.  I'm happy here with today.

I'll take chaos and tantrums in diapers for 400, Alex.
For now, I like to catch him loving on his babies when he doesn't know I'm watching.  His voice becomes tender and soft, just for her.
Because it's tiring and hard to keep an eye on little ones in a pool, or anywhere for that matter.
But letting go of them one day as their feet take them onto a campus, that will be my hard day.

with Aunt Joleen
We stayed with the Holmes' for the weekend.  This precious family is anchored in His promises of healing, strength, and sustaining grip of the Father's hands.  It was a blessing to spend time with them.
Baking cookies.  And eating plenty.

As soon as their 4 kiddos and our 2 older ones were remotely awake, they poured into the backyard in their jammies.  The day just couldn't wait.  We watched from the windows, sipping coffee over blueberry pancakes as they drank in the morning.
Even a quick passing by of Chris' house he grew up in.  Watching their little minds try to imagine him as a kid.

Texas brought the heat but more than that, it brought a lovely weekend full of His blessings.
We didn't want to leave.

The sage in bloom is like perfume,
Deep in the heart of Texas.
Reminds me of the one I love,
Deep in the heart of Texas.

Texas, my hat's off to you for a weekend of pure delight.