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Mother’s Day

On the eve of Mother’s Day, as I sit here in the quiet of my room, I am just awestruck at how much my life- and heart- has been changed by these two tiny people I have the privilege of calling my own. Motherhood has been quite a journey thus far– and certainly not an easy one, by any stretch of the imagination. I have never felt myself being challenged in such a way at any other point in my life. It has been such a roller coaster of emotions (and reactions), and I don’t think I could’ve ever adequately prepared myself for what it would be like. It has been the hardest, most frustrating, most unbelievably beautiful and rewarding thing I have ever done (and likely will ever do). There are so many times when I “hit a wall” with the kids, but at the end of each day, there’s no other place I’d rather be than right here with them. The feeling of C’s weight on my chest as I rock her is probably the very best feeling in all of the world, and having F tell me “Mommy, I love you and you are my best girl.” as he falls asleep is the greatest gift I could ever receive. I feel so lucky and blessed that I get to be here with them each and every day, for the good AND the bad. Out of all the things I’ve done in my life, I can truly say that they are my very best work.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mamas out there! 


To the Little Boy Who Made Me a Mama

My sweet and precious Frank,

Words cannot even begin to convey just how much I love you and how much your presence and spirit have meant to me over the last 2+ years. I know that I tell you that I love you probably a thousand times a day, but it just doesn’t seem like enough. You are my everything, and I can’t imagine a sweeter, more perfect little boy to call my own. From your unending curiosity and boundless energy to your huge, tender heart, you truly are “my best boy”. I feel so incredibly blessed and lucky to be your mama, and I hope that you always know just how very special and wonderful you are.

Sometimes, I’ll peek into your room at night just to watch you sleep, and I feel as if my heart is going to explode. Maybe it’s because you are always so animated and on-the-go, and when you’re sleeping, that’s one of the only times I can really capture your face and take it all in. You look so peaceful and beautiful, with your sweaty hair and pink cheeks. I honestly don’t think I’ve seen anything more amazing in my whole life.

Your little sister is going to be here very soon, and I want you to know that my love (and your Daddy’s too) will never wane, even though she will require lots of our care and attention. You captured my heart the moment I first laid eyes on you, and nothing will ever change that. I’m excited to see how the love in our family grows and changes with this new addition, and I know that Clara is so very lucky to have you as her big brother. You are an amazing little boy with such a tremendous spirit, and experiencing  your love and sweetness every day makes it all worth it.

I love you, Frank J.!



Counting My Blessings

In light of the tragic tornadoes in Oklahoma, and what seems to be an almost endless stream of sadness in the news, I am counting my blessings. All too often, it’s so easy to get hung up on the things that have gone wrong throughout the day, whether it be hitting every red light on the way to work, spilling my coffee, or having a baby who doesn’t sleep very much (ME! ME! ME!). Yes, these things ARE very annoying, and I feel that it’s perfectly natural to view them as such, but I really feel that I need to make a more concerted effort to focus on all of the positive and wonderful things in my life, rather than the petty annoyances. There’s just something about a tragedy that gives me such a gut-check and puts things back in perspective for me; it brings me back around to what’s really important, and reminds me of just how lucky I am.

Recently, I have had a few friends experience great illness and loss, with respect to their children. I cannot even imagine the pain and worry as they deal with all of the “what ifs”. On the days when my son wakes up way too early, because he wants to “talk” and play, I try to remind myself that I am so lucky that he CAN do these things. I am lucky that he can make many different sounds, because some babies can’t. I am lucky that I have to watch him like a hawk when he is on his playmat, because he can “log roll” halfway across the room in about 30 seconds. I am lucky that he blows raspberries when I’m feeding him, and gets sweet potatoes everywhere, because that means that his oral motor skills are developing. He is growing, learning, and changing every day, and I am so lucky to get to witness this on a daily basis, because some parents don’t get that chance. Tonight, I am going to hug him a little tighter, and give him his 1,001st kiss of the day, as I say a prayer of thanks for the wonderful blessing that is him.

Rather than complain about how long it takes to do the laundry and straighten up the house, I should focus on the fact that my family and I are so blessed to have so much. We have way more than we will ever need: a beautiful home, full of furniture, more clothes than can fit into our closets, and a pantry and refrigerator full of food. There are so many people who would give anything to have these things that I, all too often, take for granted. Most of us have so much, but many times, don’t take enough time to really take it all in.

I have a husband who loves me and works so hard for our family, a healthy, thriving baby boy, two fantastic dogs, and a tremendous family. When I actually take the time to put it on paper, it is really quite humbling. So, maybe this is my mid-year’s resolution: to recognize and acknowledge just how very lucky I am.

40 days and 40 nights

As it approaches 7 weeks since my son’s birth, two things really amaze me: how quickly time has gone by, and how much he has changed. Though, in the grand scheme of things, 7 weeks is not a very long time, it just seems as if he has always been here with us. It’s hard for me to remember a time without him. In the 40 days that he has been on this Earth, he has made such an impact on my life, and has stolen a huge chunk of my heart. He is truly my everything, and not a second goes by (well, maybe a little more than a second goes by when I’m sleeping, because I wake up every half hour or so, just to see if he’s ok) that I am not thinking about him or thanking God that he’s mine. He has a sign above his crib that says, “For this child we prayed,” and truer words could never be spoken. Yet, I am still so amazed that he was the answer to our prayers; to me, he is absolutely perfect. I feel like every time I look at him, I try to memorize what he looks like that day, because he is changing so quickly. When I think of his little face, I picture how he smiles when he is sleeping, or the wrinkles underneath his eyes. His right ear lobe sticks out a little more than his left, and he has long and skinny feet, just like his daddy. I probably spend at least 2 hours a day just staring at him and smiling. He is such a beautiful gift, and I am forever grateful that he is my little boy.

A Surprise Unlike Any Other

As most of you know, I am pregnant, and Frank and I (along with Josie and Merlin!) will be welcoming a little baby into our lives in November. For those of you who are already mothers, you will understand this completely, but up until 3 months ago, I didn’t have any idea that something like this even existed. The transformation that I have gone through (or the one that has just happened to me; I’m not really sure which!) is one that I never would have imagined could take place in such a short time.

Frank and I were VERY lucky in that we never really had to “try” to get pregnant. Over the past several years, we have had several friends who have had a very hard time getting pregnant, so we definitely didn’t take it for granted when it happened for us so quickly. Right away, we felt so blessed and fortunate that we were going to get to be parents to a sweet little boy or girl, and it was what happened next that really caught me by surprise. From the moment that I first saw the two lines on that pregnancy test, I was engulfed by a mixture of emotions that I have never felt before. It was a happiness, wonder, and fear deeper than I ever could have imagined, and I can say that, from that very moment, I was in love. Until that very moment, I don’t think I had thought about what it would be like to know that I was going to be somebody’s mom. I had always known that I would be a mom SOMEDAY, but that someday always seemed like a distant point in the future.

We have known that I was pregnant since March 24, and I can honestly say that not a day has gone by that I haven’t thanked God for this baby and how lucky we are. From that very day, I have felt a love that I have never experienced before, for this teeny tiny boy or girl that I haven’t even met yet. Each day, I find myself talking to him or her, or just rubbing my belly, as if to say “I’m thinking about you, little one, and I can’t wait to meet you!” I always thought that it was so cliché when people would say that having a child was the best and most amazing thing they had ever done, but now, I am a true believer, even though we haven’t even gotten to the best part yet! I have such an immense love for this little baby, and I am constantly amazed at the miracle that is occurring everyday, as he or she grows and develops. I cannot wait for the day when we can finally meet our baby and hold him or her in our arms. The depth of this love has overwhelmed and surprised me, and I just can’t wait to finally be THIS somebody’s mom.

An Entitlement Society

Something happened this week, and while it may have seemed innocuous at the time, the more I have thought about it, the more it has aggravated me. Though I am three days removed from the situation, I have not been able to stop thinking about it, and what it “really means” for us, as a society. People have become WAY too accustomed to accepting hand-outs, and to make it even worse, even more comfortable just casually asking for them, as if they are “owed” to them.  I don’t know exactly when/where/how it started, but it really is so maddening. In this particular case, a student (whom I do not even know) asked me for money to pay for her to go on a field trip. In her words, it was “just $150.” I was really so shocked that this was happening that I think I may have stammered while giving her an economics lesson. I told her that $150 was, in fact, not just a small amount of money. That fact aside, it was not my responsibility to pay for her, as I have current and former students’ families whom I have helped throughout the year (because I know that they really need it). Now, while I have never seen her family’s bank account, I do know that she does have a cell phone, and is often wearing the newest, and very expensive sneakers soon after they come out. Looking at that, it says to me that her family is not one of those who is truly struggling, otherwise, she wouldn’t have those “extras.” What it also says to me is that she feels perfectly comfortable asking someone else (and someone virtually unknown to her, at that) to give her something for free, though she hasn’t earned it.

I was raised to know the value of hard work, demonstrated by the examples of my parents. Though there were some tough financial times, they never once looked to someone else to “fix it” for them, because they “deserved it.” Do you know what they did? They worked harder. My dad took on a second job so that my mom could stay home with my brother and I. Did they expect anyone else to take care of them? No, they did not. Would they ever, in a million years, have asked me to go out and “do their bidding” for them (as in the situation that I was referring to at the beginning of this post)? No, they would not. They would have gone without things that they needed or wanted, just to make sure that my brother and I had what we needed. One of the most important values they imparted to my brother and I was to have strong character. Unfortunately, I see that value in fewer and fewer people these days, and I really think that it spells trouble for our society. Nothing in life is free, nor should someone expect it to be. Everything in life that is worth having is worth working hard for. I, for one, am glad that I learned that lesson early on, and I can only hope that those who don’t already know that will learn it before it’s too late.

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