Friday, August 28, 2009

Beyond Day One

I just couldn't contain my enthusiasm for Emma beginning school, so the pictures continued each day...

Second Day of School:

Third Day of School:

Oops... maybe one too many pictures this morning...

Fourth Day of School (making a "K" for "Kindergarten"):

Fifth Day of School:

(another "K" - but how hilarious is Brody in the window? Didn't notice until later!)

Sixth Day of School:
I was done taking pictures (I mean, how long would this go on?), but when it was time to leave, I couldn't find Emma. She was waiting on the porch to have her picture taken! Old habits die hard! (And no, I didn't take a picture. Now I wish I had...)

On the fifth day of school, Emma tried riding the bus to school for the first time. She had wanted to do it from day one, but I wasn't ready. So that morning we drove to the bus stop (it's only a block away but we had to make a quick get-away once she got on!) and got to know a couple other girls who would be riding. She was a little nervous getting on, but she found her seat and waved goodbye!

Addie and Brody and I raced to the school to beat the bus and watch her get off. She was all smiles!

The next couple of bus-riding days were shaky, but now it's old hat. Today she went all on her own and we didn't even follow her to school. A friend and mom of one of Emma's classmates called to tell me that she made it just fine!

Good girl, Emma. You're growing up before my very eyes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the Still of the Night

It seems that in all the busyness of the days lately, the nights haven't slowed down much either. I'm talking middle-of-the-nights, when everyone should be asleep. You'd think that with so much happening, the whole family would zonk out and not open an eye until morning.

But Brody has begun this crazy habit of either waking up in the middle of the night or waking up super early. Coaxing him back to sleep is not an easy task.

Maybe I should hand that job off to Emma or Addie who are sometimes up around the same time. It seems they plan it out, and alternate nights to have bad dreams or restless sleeps.

Or maybe it's a good job for Gary since he's up anyway. He's having a hard time sleeping lately. He'll wake up stressed out or thinking about all he has to do. Usually it just means he goes to work far earlier than normal (by HOURS).

So rocking Brody back to sleep or lying awake in bed while I let him cry it out for awhile is left to me. And that just gives me time to think.

There have been so many big things happening in our family lately. Brody just turned one, Emma started kindergarten, Addie's about to start preschool, Gary's kicking off another busy school year, Emma has started playing soccer... and I'm adjusting to all of these big changes. More often than not, I end up thinking back to where I was this time last year... or the year before... or the year before... and noting how life just keeps on going.

Last year at this time, Emma had just lost her first tooth. She was about to start preschool. Addie had just busted her eye open and narrowly escaped stitches. Brody had just been born and we were all adjusting to being a family of five. Life was good and beautiful - just like now. But isn't it funny how every season of life being "good" is always different than all "goods" before?

Two years ago at this time, I was blissfully unaware of all I'd experience by the month's end. I was finally feeling good in my pregnancy after 18 long weeks of morning sickness, we were celebrating the fact that we were expecting a boy, and I was hoarding all Rice Krispie Treats in sight. I didn't realize that within a few weeks, we'd lose that baby. Our Joshua.

When I think about Joshua in the middle of the night, I'm struck with a sadness that I still can't articulate. He's in my thoughts more than I thought he would be by now. But at the same time, I feel a sense of awe that God trusted me with Joshua all the days of his life. A sense of awe that I got to hold and cuddle such a tiny, fragile baby. I wonder how I made it through and remember that inexplicable peace that the Lord gave me new each day. I remember how I drew nearer to God than ever before, and how he comforted me and gave me the strength to move from one day to the next. I can't think about Joshua without realizing what a gift that time was. It turns out, that season of life was hard, but very good.

And so in the middle of the night, when the house is quiet except for the tired cries of baby Brody, my mind often wanders back to those often dark days. God didn't let me dwell in those dark days too long, and he certainly didn't let me come out of them without a deeper understanding of who he is or a stronger desire for him. And in those quiet midnight hours, I think about that desperate passion and need for him that I had in those days and weeks after Josh died... and wonder how it faded. It's not that I've lost it, it's just that it isn't as urgent as it once was. I love the Lord and depend on Him daily, but I think I've reverted back to relying on my own strength too often these days - strength that I didn't even possess back then. Sometimes I begin to pray that God would take it from me and replace it with the desperation and intense need that I had two years ago...

But then I stop.

Because that's too scary.

Because God answers prayers.

And do I really want to go through that kind of pain again? What if he answers my prayers that way? What if it's not that way, but some harder, scarier way? Who wants that?

But what if it's not like that? What if I ask God to light that fire under me again, to show me how to lean on him without looking back, to realize once and for all that it's his will not mine... and he just... does. What if, without some heart-wrenching situation, God just reveals himself to me in a more real way than ever before? Would he do that?

And so, thinking about these things, chickening out and not finishing my prayer, I drift off to sleep. And sometimes I wake up in the morning, realizing that I'm in for another day of mediocrity until I ask God for more.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Soccer Mom: FAIL

I'm not really a sporty kind of girl.

I attended football games in high school... because I played the flute in the band.
I attended football games in college... because it was fun to flirt with boys.

I'm not really sporty.

I tried to play sports a few times in high school, but it didn't usually end well.

I like to go to Broncos and Rockies games now, but it's really just a social thing for me.

Or there was the time I had to write a sports commentary for a journalism class in college and it went something like this: "Nelson passes the ball to Jones... the pass is complete... he takes it to the thirty yard line... the forty... the fifty... the sixty... the seventy... the eighty... the ninety... TOUCHDOWN!!!" (And if you think there's nothing wrong with that commentary, then indeed, we are kindred spirits.)

Yeah. I'm not really a sports girl.

And if you need further evidence, I present you with the following photo documentation from Emma's first ever soccer practice the other night, entitled, "Angie tries to be a Soccer Mom."

Says Gary at soccer practice, "You do know that you fold the socks OVER the shin guards, right?"


I'm not really all that sporty, you know.

But no one will EVER fault my girl for having ribbons that don't match her shoes and shin guards. Even if you can't see 'em.

(I'm pretty lucky that my son-of-a-football coach / son-of-a-gym teacher / ESPN-loving husband married this athletically challenged girl, don't you think?)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My little kindergartner

We made it!

It's no surprise that Emma loved her first day and can't wait to go back tomorrow. But leave it to my little early bird to pick TODAY to ask if she could sleep in. No, sister, that's what summer is for. She sat up in bed and said, "You mean I have to wait until next summer to sleep in?" Weren't the last 104 days of summer vacation good enough for her?!

But once she was awake, she was excited. Donning her new first-day-of-school outfit, she begrudgingly posed for a zillion pictures for me before we all climbed in the van to head to school. I might let her take the bus next week, but I'll hold on to all I can for now.

On the way to school, I asked if she was excited (fully expecting an enthusiastic "yes!"), but with a small voice, she said, "Mommy, I'm a little bit scared." So we prayed together on the short drive there, and asked the Lord to be with her and to give her courage. I never sensed an inkling of fear after that. My girl knows where her help comes from!

We waited for the bell to ring to go inside, and ran into Emma's buddy from preschool who is in another kindergarten class (also named Emma - we call them M&M!) and her fourth grade sister with the same outfit!

Once inside, I had her lead the way to her classroom. At one point she wriggled her hand out of mine and said she didn't want to hold my hand! Seriously? But when we reached her classroom, she grabbed my hand and held it tight, because nerves set in. But in no time, she settled in at a table, coloring a raccoon and immersed in her little kindergarten world.

I stuck around to hear the bell ring, sing the National Anthem (I had no idea they did that!) and say the Pledge of Allegiance with the class. It brought back so many memories!

As I was walking back to the car, it hit me. My eyes welled up as I tried to rest confident that we've prepared her for this day; for these days where she'll be apart from us more than ever before. Will she be polite? Will the kids like her? Will she be a good listener? Will her teacher love her like I do? And just like I've had to do so many times in my kids' lives, I handed over my baby and her school years over to God. Even if I can't be there every second making sure she's safe and happy and loved, HE IS.

After school, she happily came running when she was dismissed. We went home and made lunch, and walked to a park for an after-school picnic. She told me about the class rules ("We have rules mommy, definitely no running in the class. Definitely.") and about recess ("I swinged on the swings, but no one else did. I was lonely.") and about time in class ("I played with Sam. We danced and we sang and I kissed his brain)".

And on our way home to have popsicles, Emma found a frog. And if you know Emma, you know she LOVES frogs. For her, it was like the perfect ending to a great kindergarten day. Naturally.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Kindergarten Eve

Yesterday, Emma was born. And then I blinked, and tomorrow she'll be in kindergarten.

All of those good-intentioned ladies were right when they chided me for not wishing the days away, telling me, "it goes so fast!"

I'm really excited for Emma to start kindergarten, and she is too. She has her outfit all picked out, her school supplies all labeled and packed up, and her teacher's name committed to memory. She's ready.

And I am too. Or so I thought.

I was fine yesterday. When someone asked if they thought I'd cry when I dropped her off, I smirked and said, "Nahhh... this is great!" Today is a different story. I woke up feeling melancholy. I think I'm feeling down because it's hard to say goodbye to summer and realize all of the things we didn't do, and yet hard also because the fun summer things we did do are coming to an end. The lazy days of preschool and wide open days are over. School is commitment! There are no more spur-of-the-moment trips to the zoo or breakfasts at Chick-fil-A. Since she'll only be in school in the mornings, I'm going to cherish our afternoons together. I'm glad we still have that.

I'm going to miss having her around all the time. Addie's going to miss her. Even when Emma is off on a play date or summer sports day camp, Addie would lament missing her sister. Brody's going to miss her too. He lights up when she walks in the room.

Okay, this is only kindergarten! It's not like she's going off to college.

I remember my first day in Ms. Petersen's kindergarten class at Northridge Elementary like it was yesterday. The bright colors of the room, that new school smell, the kids anxious to learn and play... I loved it all. I especially remember the moment I met Jessica - the girl who introduced herself to me and made me feel like I belonged. I had a friend. I sure hope Emma meets a Jessica tomorrow.

I also remember the night before I started kindergarten, my parents tucked me in as we talked about the big day I'd wake up to. I tearfully said, "I don't want to grow up!" And now, fast forward a few years, and tonight I might tearfully be telling Emma, "I don't want you to grow up!"

Alright... off to get the camera charged. Tomorrow's post will be chock full of pictures and a report from my little kindergartner. And it will be happy!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Summer Haiku

May, June and August
Wait! What happened to July?
Summer went too fast.

Seriously. Did this summer happen in the blink of an eye for everyone else? We didn't do half of the things I'd hoped. It rained far more than it ever does in Colorado and therefore, I don't have half the tan I'd hoped. We didn't go to the zoo. (There's still time!) School starts in two weeks. I'll have a kindergartener.

AND... I didn't blog the entire month of July. Maybe it's because we've been having so much fun! Or because it's been too nice to sit in front of the computer (unless, of course, you're playing Typing Maniac or Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook... and then I plead the fifth). I've heard that some of you are tired of seeing the Jon and Kate post. So as my special gift to you, I slaved over my Summer Haiku so you can read that until my next post. Which might just be in mid-September at this rate. (But let's hope not. Can I get an amen?!)


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