When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith


A Love Note

Dear Little Loves,

You will be up in a few short hours, full of energy and light and spirit.  And I will be bone tired.  You will be bouncing from one hotel bed to the next, arguing over who gets to push the elevator, and tearing down the hallways.  I will be pulling up the rear.  You will be vying for my attention at every turn.  I will be stifling a yawn.

We are in the midst of our first international move, and life is challenging right now.  You are subject to new rules and no predictable schedule.  We must be quiet in the hotel halls.  We have to wait for repair and delivery people (sometimes in a sweltering house).  We have to go to doctors and dentists.  Mommy has to send emails and fill out forms.  Your friends are in school all day.

It's not fair.  I know.  I get it.  I wish it were different, my lovey doves.  I really do.  Much is beyond my control at the moment.  I can't even control the time I wake in the morning (1AM today).

But I will tell you what I can control, with God's help.  I can control my attitude.  I can control my voice, my expressions, my words.  I will control them today.  If I have to sink to my knees a thousand times, I will do it.  It is both my prayer and my pledge to you, sweet children.  Because you deserve my best.

I didn't give that to you yesterday.  I gave in to my temptation to complain and become bitter and angry and anxious.  I was rude and mean and set a horrible example.  My heart cringed when I heard the way you spoke to one another, mirroring the way I'd lashed out at you.  I'm sorry, my babies.

I'm sorry, but I'm not despairing.  Today is a new day.  I am forgiven and free to start over.  And that's just what I'll do.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor  5:17

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past." Isaiah 43:18


Miss you

Dear kids,

Momma misses you so much!
Singapore is really neat!  You are going to love all the sights and sounds and smells.  I can't wait for you to see it! I can't wait to explore with you!

This trip has been really good for mommy.  Everyone says, "Enjoy it!"  What they really mean is, "Enjoy your time away from your kids!"  Guess what I learned?  I can't!

I can't enjoy being away from you.  At least not for this long!  I've only been gone a few days, and I already want to come home and squeeze you!  Sure, I've enjoyed reading, and eating food I didn't have to cook, and using the restroom with the door shut, but kiddos, this life is no real fun without you!

I want Jack to climb up in this big ole bed in the middle of the night and kick me to the edge.  I want to feel Caleb in my empty, aching arms.  I want to show Maddie all the beautiful, interesting flowers.  I want Parker to talk until my ears are tired about Legos, or video games, or the new friends he made in the airport.  Just fill up these big quiet rooms and my empty arms!

I am grateful beyond words for your amazing grandparents who agreed to have their own lives and households disrupted for two weeks and care for you.  I know they are showering you with attention and love.  This is a good experience for our family.  It gives us space and time to miss each other.

This has been good for mommy and daddy, too.  It gives us time to talk and do gross stuff, like kiss and hold hands.  And that stuff's important.  Because one day, you'll be gone for good.  Out of our house.  And that's okay.  God will give me time to get used to that idea and adjust.

You guys are just so little right now.  And it goes so fast.  I can't wait to see you, sweeties.  Be good for your grandparents.



Birthday Monkey

Dear Jacky-Jack,

My little monkey.  You just turned three, but you are as tall as a four year old.  You are all smiles and sobs.  You are tickle fights and temper tantrums.  You are my little love.

Jack, you have pined for your birthday celebration all month long.  Unfortunately for you, we celebrated exactly seven birthdays in our home this month before yours finally came along.  Grandpa, Drake, Kane, Eli, Lana, Julie, and Caleb all got to blow out candles around our kitchen table, as you watched, sobbing, "But it's my birfday!"

And then it was.  Only it wasn't.  It wasn't at all what I had envisioned.  No streamers or balloons.  No party plates and napkins.  We didn't even wrap your gifts.  Daddy took you all to pick up the Spiderman ice-cream cake we'd ordered because I was sick in bed with fever and chills.  The moment he got home, all of you kids were so anxious to dig in, I barely made it out of the bedroom in time to sing you "Happy Birthday."

Lucky for you, Ms. Lana saved the day.  A few days after your actual birthday (when mommy was feeling better), we secretly decorated the kitchen and baked cupcakes as you and the others played in your room.  When you emerged, you had an actual birthday party, complete with streamers, balloons, party favors, games, wrapped gifts, and guests.  Your eyes were as big as saucers.  You had a ball!

Oh my little Jack, there is so much I want to remember about you as you are right at this very moment in time.  Your thumb tucked in your mouth, the way you call Caleb "Caywub," your giant toothy grin, the way you say, "your" instead of "you," hearing your little voice sing "Everything is Awesome" from the Lego movie and Neon Trees' "Animal," the fact that you think Lightening McQueen's name is Kachow, the way you carefully secure the straps on your shoes (on the wrong feet), the heaviness of your head on my shoulder, the roundness of your knees and fingertips, your long eyelashes, the way you always answer an "I love you" with an "I wuv you, too."  Though you sometimes still refuse to get dressed, though you forget to flush the toilet (leaving a very tempting mess for baby brother), though you destroy your brother's Lego creations, and use your sister's markers to embellish the tile floors - I will always love you.

Your actions are almost never out of spite.  You are my Curious George.  I love you to pieces, sweet boy.  Happy belated birthday.