and then she was 6...

from there...
 to here...
and here...
to here...
and going there...
to a lifetime of firsts...
 and discovery never-ending...
and more proud moments than I ever thought possible...
here's to taking after...
but also forging a path as unique as you are...
here's to those bright eyes...
and here's to discovering new reasons to love you every single day. 

Today, you are 6...
sassy, smart, scared
loved like you could not comprehend...

Your arrival brought many adventures...
worries, joys, wonders, sleepless nights, 
"you are my sunshine" on repeat as you (hopefully) fall asleep...

The startling & scary realization that i see so much of me in you...
and sometimes praying so hard to not let that be true...
If only to protect you.

We've blinked and suddenly
here we are. 
and then, she was 6.

You are the best thing that ever happened to me SC...
and I will love you forever & always & no matter what & to the moon & back.


I'll read...and remember.

S's 1st grade teacher sent home a sheet asking parents to volunteer to read to the class.

Now there are many, many things about being a parent that I just don't groove with. I'm not great at getting down on the floor & playing. My patience level, even at best, is not enough to carry me through a session of Barbies or Batman. My mind wanders. Selfish, I know. I've tried. Lord knows I've tried. And I have gotten a wee bit better. A wee bit.

But reading to my kiddos is a whole different story. This I love. As a kid, I loved books. As an adult, I love books. I will rarely say no to my kids if they want to buy a book. I love changing my voice & inflection to suit the story, I enjoy getting animated as I read. I really hope to bring the story to life for my kids.

Needless to say, I immediately checked my calendar & signed up for two dates to visit & read. Mrs. H (S's teacher) sent home an updated list of parent readers and I was explaining to S about how I excited I was for my dates to come up. During this conversation (which occurred last Thursday), we discovered that there was no one signed up for tomorrow (Friday). S BEGGED me to email her teacher and raced to her room to select a book for me to read. I futilely attempted to explain to her that there was no guarantee Mrs. H would need me tomorrow.

Lucky for me, she gladly accepted my offer to come read. I told S before she left for school that I would see her a little sooner than pick-up time because I was coming to read to her class. She beamed. My heart melted. And something else struck me:

That I needed to remember the moments when she is proud to show off her mom. Here is my Facebook post from that day:

Today I will go to school & read to Sophia's class, both because she begged me to & I want to. Today I will try very hard to remember & hold the memory of my daughter wanting me around & actually being excited about it. Because I know, that before I know it, all she'll want from me is cash & car keys & I will want the memory of today to hold onto. (I think I'll even bring the camera!)

And so I went. Bringing with me a few of our favorite family books: this one & this one.
The kids gathered around the reading chair & the sight of 23 sets of big, anticipating eyes was so overwhelming at first that I almost began to feel nervous.
But when I opened the book & began to read and saw just how closely they were paying attention, any nervousness washed away and I became intent on bringing the book to life for them, just as I do for S & W.

And, guess what?

Twenty minutes later, I was getting bear hugs & "Thank You Mrs. Gleason's" by most of the class. And hiding a few tears...Even W got a bunch of "High Fives" from his sisters' classmates.

I will remember that day. I'll cling to it when the day comes when the last thing my girl wants is for her mother to show up at school. I'll cling to this memory when she's learning to drive, when she's graduating high school, when she thinks she knows it all & I know nothing.

I'll cling to it. (What I won't have is pictures. Because someone forgot to charge the battery in her camera!)

keep calm & carry on,


Welcome Back to Me...

Hello Blog...
It's been waaaaay too long & I have neglected you terribly.
But no more.
(I hope...)
Because I have made a pact, with my lovely friend Laura, to stop neglecting our blogs. (Check hers out too, she's amazing)
We have made a promise to blog at least once a week.
And cheer one another on.
We can do this...
Even if we are the only ones who read each others words, it will be worth it.
Because it's really just about getting the words out of my head & off my heart, kinda like that song "Breathe (2am)" by Anna Nalick, which goes something like this:

"2 AM and I'm still awake, writing a song
If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me,
Threatening the life it belongs to
And I feel like I'm naked in front of the crowd
Cause these words are my diary, screaming out loud
And I know that you'll use them, however you want to..."

Cuz, really, if I admit it to myself...
I need the words to come out, one way or another.
Because, if they stay trapped in my head, I will, most certainly, explode.
Sooner or later...

I've been seeing this cool thing on some of the blogs I read.
A "What is happening right now..." sort of thing.
And I dig it.
So. That is where I am choosing to begin again.

listening: to W giggle as he watches Wipeout
eating: nothing yet, i tend to neglect breakfast
drinking: coffee...it's morning
wearing: jeans & a tee i threw on to take S to her first day of school, changing soon
feeling: a bit overwhelmed. this is going to be a busy week
weather: sunny & warm, NOT HOT. which is what it has been for way.too.long
wanting: a day to myself, to read, to make stuff, without responsibility looming over my head
needing: see above
thinking: perhaps i should get off the computer & get in the shower
enjoying: writing this post!
wondering: how the girls first day of 1st grade is going...le sigh.

keep calm & carry on...


of no particular importance...

*i took this photo a couple of years ago when we vacationed in Grand Cayman...the only reason it is showing up here today is because i feel like you should have something to look at while you're reading. and, unfortunately, i have been quite remiss about taking photos lately, so i have nothing new to share, photo-wise. need to work on that...
*i love it when the girl comes home with Scholastic book orders. it brings me a sense of nostalgia. i remember being so excited as a kid when the book van came to our school. i would beg my mom for book after book. when i worked the book fair at her school last fall, i was like a kid in a candy store. i just can't say no to books for my kids.
*watching a young boy pulled from the rubble in Haiti this morning brought tears to my eyes. i cannot begin to fathom the strength & spirit it took to stay alive for a week after the earthquake. i love this CNN link about how anyone can help. we donated to Save the Children. rescues still happening this long after the quake, when it seems that all hope should be long gone, simply prove to me that God is good.
*the boy turns 3 in March. that means many things, but one i am dreading: potty-training. i have never met a more stubborn, bull-headed little boy. both of his grammies bought him "big boy" underpants for Christmas in hopes to nudge him down the potty path. i washed and folded them this morning and was cooing over how cute they were and wondering if they would still fit him when he decides he is ready to go (literally)!
*this blog has been seriously cracking me up lately. so has this one. and this, love their books. i love that there is a sisterhood of "certain kinds" of moms out there. makes me feel validated in a warped sort of way.
*i was going to make a statement about politics, but decided against it. that's probably a good thing.
*the husband and i dropped the kids off at grandma & papa's last weekend to head to Des Moines, IA for his annual work holiday party. the past few years we've gone up on saturday (it's only a 2 hour drive), gone to the party in the evening, and headed back after brunch on sunday. this year, we decided to make a weekend out of it and leave on friday. conveniently i started to get sick on the drive, cough, cough, coughing. nice start to what was supposed to be a lovely romantic weekend. despite getting worse throughout the weekend (i couldn't even go to the holiday party, that's how bad i felt :-( we did manage to have two AMAZING meals at Centro. if you ever find yourself in Des Moines, GO. don't think about it. JUST GO. trust me. thank you so much Jen (whose work & blog you should check out, she is amazing) for the recommendation!
*i am loving seeing all the sneak peaks for CHA, especially the ones from Tim Holtz. his line for sizzix makes me swoon...
**well, i have babbled and bored y'all enough for one day. be happy.



i made a tweet cloud...
not at all surprised by my most "tweeted" words.
not surprised at all!


pounding coffee...

i think i have finally figured out my personal key to keeping up with my little blog here: sit and type, stream-of-conscious style. no analyzing or fretting about what to say...which is what i tend to do and, ultimately, get nothing done and leave my blog neglected and hanging lonely in cyber-space for months. so, if you like random, let's play. if you don't, pick another blog. also, while i am a total stickler for spelling, i just can't be bothered to hit the shift key to capitalize very often. if you find this annoying or bothersome, you know what to do.

here goes...
*i have been pounding coffee this morning like a mad woman. probably a reaction to the third day in a row stuck in the house with kids.
*i have gotten precious little done, despite being stuck in the house. likely reason: my kiddos...one is sick and extra needy, one is wound up and bouncing off the walls. both are hanging on me. a lot.
*despite the stellar form in the photo above, i am a horrible bowler. now, it could have been the hang-over, it was January 1st after all. it could have been the beers we were drinking while bowling, but i, i will attribute it to Wii bowling. you see, Wii bowling gives one a false sense of being a bowling genius, when truly one is not. like myself.
*my kids are still on Alaska time, which is three hours behind CST. this means they are up late. trying to put them to be is futile and frustrating. the snow days are not helping. i am too selfish to make them get up at what should be their normal time, because i can actually have a little peace. i am too lazy to fight with them at 8pm about staying in their beds and going to sleep. i never said i was an ideal parent.
*time for another cup of coffee. excuse me.
*i'm back.
*i have been obsessively listening to a mix i made on my iPod i call "remember when." it is comprised mostly of songs that remind me of something in the past. and not necessarily the long ago past. maybe just a few months ago. in fact, it is playing as i type. maybe i should share it on the blog. good idea, thanks.
*i am GOING TO DO THIS CHALLENGE. #5, PBP Challenge Blog, founded by my dear friend Sasha Holloway.
*college football is over. nfl football is drawing to a close. this pains me. i will miss football. and watching golf just won't be the same with out Tiger. i admit it. i love Tiger. i had him on a pedestal. this whole infidelity business has pained me greatly. sigh.
*i could learn to love hockey. we went to an Alaska Aces game over Christmas and it was a total blast. i love the primal nature. i like the fights. i like the fast pace.

okay well, i am being summoned back to "real life."


random 12.31.09...the end of a decade.

too many thoughts bouncing around in my head today.
not certain why.
seemed smart to get it all out, so here goes...please excuse the rambling.

*this song going through my head, especially the part beginning with "2am and i'm still awake" sort of sums up how i feel about journaling, writing...
*alaska is amazing, i could drive and stare out the window for hours, winter or summer.
*don't much like the idea of a "new year's resolution." seems like when you attach "new year's" to your resolve, it becomes in a sense, unattainable, like something bound to fail. i understand how attractive a new year is, in terms of a fresh start or a clean slate, that makes sense. but it's like saying "i'm going on a diet" instead of "i am going to make a lifestyle change to eat healthier and exercise because i truly care about my health and well-being." to me, it's more like a temporary fix for a bigger issue. we shouldn't feel like we have to wait until a new year to do something positive for ourselves...
*cannot wait to have an adult night out this evening.
*i have a copy of this sitting next to me, just waiting for me to open it and finally learn how to use PSE, something i have been wanting to do for way too long.
*so very bummed that football season is drawing to a close. absolutely loved playing fantasy this season...did well too! (better than my hubby!)
*feeling quite pensive today...
*i have not watched an episode of Criminal Minds in over a week and i am about to go into withdrawals.
*loving Twitter lately.
*being thousands of miles away from home with sick kids kinda stinks.
*seems ironic that we traveled to alaska for christmas, narrowly escaping a winter storm that barreled through home and it hasn't snowed once since we've been here.

ok...now i feel a bit better. sort of.
happy twenty ten.