Sunday, February 28, 2010

Adventure Calling


To some, it means climbing mountains or conquering beasts. While, to others, it could be as simple as trying to board an airplane bound for another country at 7 am with three small children in tow.

But, as they say, what is life without a little adventure?

Today, we leave for a remote island. We travel by plane. Flying above the clouds and over the seas. I am blessed with happy, easy going little travelers. We've taken them on trips from the time B and A were a year old. R was nursed at 3 months on board her first flight and has been excited about them ever since.

What awaits us at our destination? Seven bliss filled days of sun, warm weather, white sand beaches and nothing but time together. No must do or must take or must hurry. We are operating on our time. Time for our family to come together. Time for our children to see new things and to be exposed to new cultures.

Time away from the home and lives we love in order to refresh.

The thought is too appealing. I need this trip. The kids and T need this trip. I think everyone I know could use this trip right about now. Winter is hard. Hard on the mind, body and spirit. So, we shall rejuvenate. Leave the gray behind us.

I'm hoping for some great pictures. I'm hoping for even better memories to take back with us. The children are going to see a tropical rain forest for the first time. I have a sense of excitement in the pit of my stomach. It reverberates throughout the plane.

Oh, aren't we fortunate to have this opportunity? This chance for some adventure? Everyone needs a little in their life.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pure Gold

I have a secret love affair. It makes my heart race. My adrenaline pumps a little harder when I hear that certain music. I feel a rush when I know it’s getting to be that time.

This clandestine affair is with the Olympics. More specifically, the winter Olympics.

During my childhood, I enjoyed watching the Olympics as much as anyone. Figure skating was my favorite. I grew up idolizing the dazzling Rosalynn Sumners. I thought she was just gorgeous! Not to mention the exotic Katarina Witt. My mother cut my hair in the seventies to look like Dorthy Hamil. Was there a little girl who escaped that look back then?

However, my true passion for the games came the winter that B and A were born. In February of 2002, I had my first babies. A week after we brought them home from the hospital, the 2002 games in Salt Lake City began.

As most of you are aware, when you have a brand new baby at home, you are up at all hours day and night. It was during this time that we discovered that they also happen to rebroadcast the Olympics beginning at 11:30 pm until about 4:00 am. This was very convenient for someone awake with newborn twins.

That year, we watched every morsel of Olympic coverage. We were stuck indoors and at home with our new babies. So, we’d start watching the broadcast at 7:00 pm, but would miss some things due to feedings, changings, pacing back and forth. (Did I mention they were colicky? That is surely another post.) Not to worry! We’d watch it all again throughout the night. I felt like Apolo Anton Ono and Sarah Hughes became personal friends.

We watched the opening ceremony and saw the flag from 911 paraded in. And I cried when we watched the closing ceremonies. I felt like I was losing something. What were we to do now? What would keep us awake and alert enough to take care of these two babies all night long? When I say that I cried, I mean real tears. My husband consoled me. He said it wouldn’t matter. We’d find our way without the games. Of course, not having crazy hormones pumping through him and not breastfeeding two babies, he was much more rational about it all. Somehow, we did get through it and the twins started sleeping through the night a month or so later.

I remember thinking that the next time the Olympics would be on; my new babies would be four years old. I laughed thinking about how far away that seemed.

It arrived in a flash.

During the games of 2006, I thought-we can’t be here already. How had four years gone by so quickly? My new babies were little people. Preschoolers. And I had just found out 2 weeks before the games began that I was pregnant again.

Each time the winter Olympics end, I think about B and A and the age they will be at the next games. This year, I realized that they will be twelve. Gulp. That was my heart dropping into my stomach. Twelve. Can that be possible? Having watched their progress throughout the last 3 games, I know how fast those next four years are going to go. In the blink of an eye, they will be twelve. And so on and so on. Twelve is close to being gone. Out of the house. Off to college. It’s much closer to that step than to having them home with me.

So, the Olympics this year have reminded me that at eight I am almost at the half way mark. Half way through them living at home. Half way through my time to teach, to lead, to help grow these people. Again, I question whether or not I am doing well enough. Am I doing all that I can for them? We are often given these opportunities. These touchstones. Something will come along and remind us to check in. To see the progress, the growth. To evaluate how we are doing. For me, the winter Olympics have become one of those touchstones.

But first and foremost, they will always remind me of how it feels to be deliriously happy and content with your arms full of new babies. At home, tucked away from the cold and snow with those that you love. Becoming a family. And that feeling… is pure gold.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Love From Me to You

Red heart doilies. Glitter. Pink, red and white construction paper. Ribbons. Candy conversation hearts.

Our Valentine’s Day was filled with all of the classics.

It’s our tradition that the kids make their valentines. So, this past week they were busy cutting, gluing, and glittering their little hearts out. They made cards for their grandparents and great-grandparents, aunts and uncles. And of course, T and I received one. So much love and thought was put into each one.

We exchanged a small gift. Books all around. Just a little something to say I was thinking of you and I love you.

That night, we made a chocolate fondue for a special Valentine’s dessert. They absolutely love this. What’s not to like? Melted chocolate that you can dip your favorite fruit, marshmallows and cake into. Sounds yummy, right? It sure was.

As we were dipping, we worked our way around the table telling each person one thing we love about them. Here are some of my favorites.

B: I love that dad is my guy.

Me: What do you mean by that?

B: Well Mom, it’s just him and I as the boys around here. So, you know. He’s my guy.

R: I wuv that I can cuddle with Mommy in her big bed. I no like my bed. It’s scary.

A: I love that Daddy is friendly and funny.

A: I love that B is my twin and he’s always there with me.

B: I love that Mommy has a kind heart.

Oh, these are just too good aren’t they? They warmed my heart. They made me happy. Sometimes, that’s the best part of these random little holidays. Yes, card companies and flower shops make them up. But, they can actually force you to slow down in the course of your hectic life and plan a little something with those you love. And remember what that feels like. It’s the reason you do what you do each day.

Because you love them.

It’s simple. Hope you enjoyed your little sweeties yesterday! Here’s to spreading some love…

Monday, February 8, 2010

What a Stud

The latest craze amongst the second grade girls has been ear piercing. It seems as if all year, they have succumb one by one to the trend. A has sat by and watched as some of her friends have gotten theirs done. She’s debated whether or not she was willing to conquer her fear of needles and the pain involved versus the very cool results.

It seemed like with her birthday coming up and First Communion coming in a few months, this would be as good of a time as any to get them done. So, last week we went with her two best girlfriends and their moms to get her ears pierced.

They were all so very nervous. When it was time for one of them to sit in the chair and begin, suddenly no one wanted to go. Before this turned drama, as things tend to with eight year old girls, I held A’s hand and said, “Why don’t you go first?” Before she knew it, she was up in that tall stood and the woman was marking purple dots on her lobes.

I stood in front of her and held her hands. She started to cry, just a little. I whispered to her how brave I thought she was and that it would only hurt for a second. She didn’t waiver in her decision though. She was just trying to work through the anxiety and pain. In a mere second it was done.

She instantly looked older to me.

A little girl.

I realized that there are so few traces left of the baby that I knew.

What a rite of passage. For however silly it may seem, we all remember whom we were with and when we got our ears pierced. So, while I do miss the baby that I mentioned, I sure am excited about the little girl that I get to share these moments with. She is so brave and confident. She knows what she wants and who she is. And she was willing to try something first, to be the leader. I couldn’t be more proud of her or think that she is any more beautiful. Earrings or not.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to B and A

B and A at 2 months

On a cold, winter day in February, you arrived. B stepped into this world at 2:20 and A followed at 2:21. We joke that you could only stand to be apart for a mere minute. I think that describes your bond and relationship perfectly. I cannot put into words the first moment that I saw you. It was as if the world had stopped. And I knew nothing would ever be the same again.

I am struggling to write this. To put into words what the two of you mean to me. You are my first babies. My first loves. A piece of myself was born with you. Because of you, I fell into my destiny. I figured out who I was supposed to be.

Your mommy.

On the day of your birth, you gave me that gift. We learned together. We made mistakes together. We’ve grown together. Through it all, we’ve loved each other.

I could not be more proud of the people that you’ve become.

So bright.

So inquisitive.

So kind.

Such caring hearts.

While no one is ever perfect, you two are just perfect for me. From the beginning, we’ve just fit together.

It seems as if you are growing and maturing each day. You are constantly continuing to change. These days, I see glimpses of our future. The way you carry on conversations. The way you share your thoughts and feelings. The things that bring you joy and happiness. I see the people inside of you forming before my eyes.

The preteen years are ahead. I am longing for knowledge on how to navigate them. How to help you find your way and to be prepared. To feel confident in yourselves. To make good decisions. To be strong in your beliefs. But, I have faith in us. We’ve made it this far together after all.

You are such good children. It has been the greatest joy of my life to raise you. I love you with all of my heart. Happy eighth Birthday, babies!