Thursday, December 31, 2009

On the Eve of a New Decade, A Look Back

Who are those young people?
The kids pegged Scott right away.
They all thought they were the baby featured.
Nobody knew who the girl was!!!

Well, that's Scott and me and the day we became parents, so that's Baby Kaden, who will turn nine in a few days. Thinking back over this first decade of the new millenium, I can hardly believe how our lives have been transformed. That selfish girl who thought the world revolved around her, had five kids and moved cross country four times. That tennis/golf obsessed boy who waited tables, graduated from medical school, deployed to the middle east, and became a board certified dermatologist. There hasn't been much "me" time, no golf or tennis time, and we can count the number of dates we've had on one hand. But... what a decade it has been!

Kaden turned our world inside out and then, only a year later, our family was complete when we welcomed Chloe. We went home to visit family the next year (from Andrews AFB, MD) and brought home a stowaway, Sam, who would be born during a rather nasty blizzard our first winter in Spokane (Fairchild AFB, WA). Our family felt huge, but somehow our hearts had grown accordingly, and so our family was complete. Until something got in the water and it seemed everyone we knew at church and our neighbors all got pregnant and we experienced the worst three weeks of our lives while Abby was saved and then recovered in the NICU. Our little blonde, dimpled beauty completed our rather larger than anticipated family. It wasn't even a month into our move to San Antonio (Lackland AFB, TX) and Scott's dermatology residency that we discovered just how mistaken we were. And so, Jack became the exclamation point to our family picture and we would never venture outside of the house without hearing someone comment on the size of our family again, but at least we were done. This last summer, we moved back to the DC area, living just up the parkway from Mount Vernon in Alexandria, VA. Scott is the staff dermatologist at Andrews AFB and once again, I find myself in the all too familiar predicament of growing another little miracle. I won't tempt fate by declaring this is our last...

It's been a decade of sleepless nights, of giggles and first steps, of babies who seem to grow up overnight. I might have started out as a mother counting the days until the kids went to preschool and then kindergarten, but somehow I found my greatest joy in educating them at home. I've made so many mistakes, dropped the ball so many times, and really failed to protect my little ones (Sam falling out the second story window stands out to me), but God has His hand on them. He fills the gaps I've neglected. He heals the hearts I've carelessly wounded. He has bound our family with an inexpressible love that is anything but invisible. I have such hope for the new year, for the new decade. I don't expect much of it will be easy. I don't expect I'll get anymore sleep. But I've got a feeling I'm going to stand amazed in another ten years at how the loves of my life have changed and at how they've changed me.

God's blessing on you in the year to come.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Absence Makes the Blog Grow Dull

We are moving soon, as in next Thursday the movers will be here and put all our stuff in boxes and wrap all our furniture in bubble wrap and blankets and we will live in  a hotel for 19 days or so (but who's counting) and I will probably lose my mind before or after my patience... 

Or, I will morph into a new version of my former self.  This is the daydream I have with every move.  I always feel like a move is a chance to start over, a chance to not be the wacky screw-up who acts like a three year old, but instead become the "better me", the uber-mom, the lovely wife... in other words, NICE. The mother who doesn't get frustrated or roll her eyes or tune out the children, but instead suggests playing at the park before going to a movie before swimming in the afternoon before crafts all the live-long day before reading loads of storybooks or the same story over and over and over at bedtime without wishing you would just go away.  Her. That's the one I want to be.  The friend who doesn't forget to call, the wife who not only makes dinner (on time) but sets a fabulous table and wouldn't think of forgetting a super-fun dessert, the hostess with the mostess, the thoughtful and prepared person who never forgets a birthday and makes everyone feel special and appreciated.  She's really something.  My list of her fabulous attributes is really quite something, too.  She is everything I hope I'll be... someday. And when this blog belongs to her, she will write charming and humorous and inspiring posts each and every day complete with awesome photos, but for now...  Well, we are moving.  Soon. And I need to hide from the children while I still can.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sam and Abby, a photographic disaster

I asked them to put their arms around one another.  I should have been more specific with Sam apparently.  You notice that Abby is trying her darnedest to make photo magic happen, but... Maybe I should have tied him up... or used duck tape... you know it's gonna come down to that one of these days!

Finally, they got haircuts

Kaden has been asking me for three weeks to take him in for a haircut.  This morning I finally remembered to call for appointments.  The boys look all clean cut once more, and wow, they have ears!  Chloe cut five inches off her long locks.  She says she looks more like Nancy Drew now!  I'm so glad that's who she looks up to!  She's been carrying around a little notebook and jotting down random clues to the next big mystery!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kaden's latest exhibit

I'm sure he would tell me what dinosaurs these are if I worked up the courage to ask (and had half an hour to spare)!  I love these skeletal remains he cuts out.  Where did he ever come up with that talent?  I can't even cut out a circle!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Kaden and Chloe's Photography - A Different Angle

Sam, tilted neighborhood

Kaden, swing in motion


Mama, up close

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a note to my children:

Choose to make a mess of a closet around here,

Be prepared to lose a lot!

And what you don't lose, 
you might find you also can't reach!
One day they'll move out learn.
As for today, that closet looks simply smashing!
I am really going to miss all these closets...
but they probably won't ever notice what's missing!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Where could that battery charger have gone?

I cannot find the battery charger for the camera!
I have looked all week, but I must finally conclude that:
A:  Enemy forces are onto me.... my battery has been stolen!  (Highly unlikely seeing as I am only a Super Secret Super Spy to my kids who will believe anything!)
B:  My husband wants to buy me a new camera and so he has hidden the battery, thereby inducing in me a state of near hysteria so that he can enjoy the ultimate heroic moment and save the day!
C:  The baby, who shall remain nameless, has thrown it away, put it somewhere, or buried it. Bad Jack!  Bad, bad baby!

I'm hoping for B!!!  So, here's the last little bit my camera had to give before it started beeping in a kind of creepy manner and then eerily fell silent...

This has got to be the cutest swimsuit, evah!

Sam's Zoo - Pedestrians Beware

All out love-fest with Baby Selah!

You'll never guess what the girls want for Christmas..
What, a baby, you say?
Man, however did you guess?

Lil' Dude in underpants!
And no, he won't let go.  Every picture looks like that.

And now... 
Life Without a Camera, otherwise referred to as, 
 How I Lost My Ever-Lovin' Mind, A Mom in Crisis

Friday, April 24, 2009

For Sam

A book bag for Sam was today's project.
I really like how it turned out.
I know he liked it because he actually said, "Thank you,"
I think it mattered that I made his first.
It's rough being in the middle.

The outside is Cars fabric and the inside is denim blue.
I like finished projects...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Want-To-Do List

Seeing as I have plenty of To-Do Lists, I thought it was about time I had one of these.

None of the kids sleep well when Scott is out of town and last night was no exception.  I don't know if I got any real sleep at all.  It sure was fun to wake up to my first project all cut and laid out to be sewn.  Yippee for me!

And here's my first project... DONE!

Close up of the fabric...
Close up of the inside because, yeah, it's reversible!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I heart you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Here's where I wax eloquent, be prepared.

Nine weeks.  We have nine weeks of school left.  Nine weeks before the movers start boxing up all that stuff that makes any house our home.  Nine weeks to cherish friends we may never see again.  Nine weeks to anticipate.  Nine weeks to purge and make priorities and write lists and organize my books.  Nine weeks isn't very long to get it all done.  Nine weeks is a long time to wait.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Raisin Toes

If you play in a water bucket with your running shoes on and then your Daddy takes you to the park for a couple hours, when you finally get home to your Mama, who is the only person who understands when you say, "Sock off", even if you are clear as day, and she neatly whips off your shoes and knows to let you take off your socks all by yourself because you are NOT a baby, then you might be able to show her your raisin toes and raisin feet and she will laugh at your Daddy because come on, how could he miss that your feet are shriveling up into alien feet, did he even check???, and she will not let you try to pick off the bottom of your feet because she has lots of common sense, unlike some parents, I mean people.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Nap in a Lap

Could be the last time I hold one of my children while they sleep.
There ought to be a Hallmark card for moments like this.
Something weepy and sentimental...
nothing like what really went down.

"Hey, Mom, what's for dinner?" asked by older child who obviously does not appreciate this MOMENT I'm having.  I say nothing.  I shut my eyes.  I try to block out the noise of EVERYONE ELSE and cherish my baby, these are the times that fly by so fast for crying out loud.  Then I notice that even though another adult is actually in the room, I don't hear anyone else volunteering to put food on the table.  Is it possible that no one notices this MOMENT???  So I throw subtle out the window and announce, "This could be the last time I hold one of my children while they sleep!"  They stare at me like I'm speaking Farsi, I can tell they are wondering if that statement somehow translates to, "I'm making dinner in a jiffy!"  Know when you're beaten.  "Could you at least take a picture for me?"  Sulk in the kitchen while I make dinner and watch everyone have fun playing tag in the yard, even the baby that was so MINE just a few moments before.  Ain't no Hallmark card for that scenario.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Kind of makes my heart grow another size larger...

Friday, April 17, 2009

We really did go on vacation

Who is that masked man?

Wild Horses..., but next time we'll get the Lexus.  
Middle age, we're there.

One of the lovely art galleries we perused.  Perusing is something you can do if you don't have children with you.  Cussing is what you do (hopefully not out loud) when you lose your marbles and bring the little darlings with you for the educational value.

See what a little perusing can do to me.  
Not a care in the world in the lovely Shanandoah Valley.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Officially Available, the house that is

Well, we secured our home in Virginia so it was time to list the ol' house-a-roo.  Such stress I could not have imagined...

The fantastic realtor wasn't too happy to announce that we could end up paying $15,000 at closing.  Apparently this whole "economy in the tank" thing is real enough.  Seeing as we can't afford to pay Virginia the $6500 we owe them to secure the lease AND pay our closing fees here in Texas, we put the homestead up for rent last night at ten.  This morning we had three inquiries and we even showed it this afternoon.  I hope this is the right step... I'm so glad we are renting in Virginia!  It makes me want to wait a long time before we buy again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A little math

Chloe's room minus Chloe equals CLEAN.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hey There, Delilah

Finally, my very own Dyson vacuum.  
She works like a dream.
We named her Delilah.
She's a beauty, she's mine.
The decrepit Hoover is no more.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Not exactly what I was expecting

What happened to the photo I thought I took?  The one where Chloe and Abby posed with their baskets I made, all filled up with the eggs we dyed.  Either I was hallucinating or this shot went off a second prematurely.  Abstract?  Why yes, that's the way I roll with Easter photos, you know.  I think I'll blow it up and frame it.  Maybe title it, "Why no one ever asks me to take photos at the family reunions."

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sometimes pictures are deceiving

It was so nerve-racking to look for a house.  The first one we saw when we got to Virginia was the one we liked best... till we saw it and wondered where the other 1000 sq.ft. was located.  It was so much smaller than our house, but it was listed as 300 sq.ft. larger!  It was a realtor's definition of "cozy"!  Crazy...  So we drove around bummed out that maybe square footage was calculated on a smaller foot here in Virginia and spied out all the other homes on our list.  Not happy times.  Too old, too small, too ugly, come on now-- is this for real?  What are people thinking?  There is guesstimate and then there is deception or insanity.  Either way, it didn't look like renting was going to be an option.  Then we drove by the first house we looked at online and it looked promising from the outside.  We met a realtor while we were out cruising for homes and decided that if the Wakefield house didn't deliver, we would have to think about buying and renovating... not exactly what we were planning on spending our free time on!  After about five minutes in the house we were practically beaming, I'm sure.  It was big enough and renovated enough and in a great area of Alexandria AND we could afford it!  Happiness all around.  Woo-hoo!  And trees, my goodness, big ol' beautiful trees!  Can't wait to move!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


In all fairness, I did ask him to eat his sandwich.

Faces to love




Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A lovely shade of green

Amy gifted us a bit of this black and white fabric.  
I love it with that beautiful green!  
Chloe rocks in green!  It's totally twirly, too!

A Tiskit, A Tasket

Today, I made some baskets!  Easter baskets, that is, for the girls.  I had so much fun designing them myself, even though I took the first one apart four times until I got it just right.  The first one took over six hours (lots of kid care in there, of course), but the second one was start to finish in less than half an hour!  The picture is not zoomed enough, those are darling butterflies printed there.  I've got the boys all ready to go for tomorrow, fun, fun, fun!