Thursday, June 27, 2013

on motherhood

A wise friend sent me this post recently.  Tears streamed down my face as I read the words that I longed to be able to articulate, but have yet to be able to. Words that touched my soul.
 Recently we entered a new realm of babies going to someone else's house.
 I know, I know, they are three years old. But. I am a paranoid momma, and one of my babies has a very anxious, clingy personality. Or, had.  We've been so blessed to be able to meet our children's needs for security and not push beyond comforts until seeing signs of readiness. When I first went back to work, it was just 15 hours a week. The twins were 3 months old, and they got to be home with daddy, grandma & grandpa , or auntie Natalie while I worked.  God has outdone Himself in allowing me to slowly wean to the idea of my babies being in the hands of non-family members. It was about a year ago that we found ourselves up against a schedule that forced us to hire someone. We went through 2 people before we found a great fit and it's worked well for our family. The twins never loved it when I left for work on my work days, but they did okay, and I knew they were safe and loved and having fun while I was gone. But like all good things, that time has come to an end. She got herself a grown up job and being a nanny 2 days a week  no longer fit into her plans. She's been great about coming to our house 2 days a week and allowing our children to be around their toys and nap in their beds. (We are beyond blessed that grandparents do the 3rd day for us!)
But then we needed to find something new.
Our sweet friends down the street have a little girl a week younger than Luke and Abbey. We hang out often. So often, that I commonly refer to Luke, Abbey and little E as "the triplets". Our families are close, and I completely trust them.
So, it seemed a natural step for Abbey and Luke to begin going to their house on the 2 days a week we needed childcare.
As much as I trusted the much as I felt our babies were ready to be in someone's house without Momma or Daddy there...I was nervous.
How would this go? To date, we'd never left our babies anywhere besides our house or the Church nursery. Never.

Before you think me overly anxious and all Helicoptery, please recognize that I work at a Children's Hospital. Every day I'm there, I see abuse and neglect. I see trauma.
I'm not so arrogant as to assume horrible things can not happen to our babies while they're under our care, in our house (we've made a handful of trips to the Urgent Care for injuries that occurred while Momma was in charge). But I'd like to think things are less likely to happen with a parent - their parent's- watchful eye on them.
Truth? I don't know. But it feels right.

But I can't watch over them forever. And on paper, this all looks good...
So...after spending a few days talking about it, we get up one morning, and we all get ready, and we pack our "away bag" to spend the day at our friend's house, and pile in the van to drive four houses down to spend the day at someone's house...without Momma or Daddy.

And guess what?
Our kids did awesome.

They were a tad gloomy when I gave goodbye hugs and kisses, but no tears. Not a single one. And they had a wonderful day playing and letting E's Momma care for them.

What a blessing.

Were they ready before now, and I just wasn't? Perhaps. I guess it doesn't really matter.

I will always fear for them. Fear how much I love them.

But I long to embrace that fear, to never run from it. When you run from it, you keep Great Love at an arm's length, and I never want to do that. I never want to miss out on the gifts that true, vulnerable love can bring.

Here's to being matter the cost. Here's to aspiring to love like Christ.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


 Our Dory is such a good sport...

 OMSI fun!!

 Building "the Tower of Abbey!"

 A lil' StoryTime with GrandDad =)

And puzzles with Grannie Annie...

Couch cuddles...

Friday Night Family Movie Night!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Off the grid...

...well, kind of. I mean, as much as I'm willing to be with two toddlers and a dog.

Dave gets a week off every May between Spring and Summer semesters, which is all kinds of awesome. So, a few months back we booked a camping trip at a state park about 1.5 hours from us. We'd taken the twins camping once before, but we had a cabin then. This time we figured we were ready for a yurt.

Yes, we are slowly weaning ourselves back to tent camping.

We figured a yurt was safe -as it had a heater and electricity- that way if it rained a bunch we were still warm at night and dry. But it didn't have a bathroom or sink or anything, and was pretty small and with it's tent-like exterior, we were still Camping =)

Good thing too...because it rained the entire first afternoon we were there, ALL night, and until lunch time the next day.

(Luke is such a ham lately!)

(I wonder where he gets it...)

We had borrowed a camping stove from some friends, and I'm so glad we did. We boiled hot dogs on there the first night, under the rain protection of the covered porch...

And of course we had to make S'Mores!

We tried to kill time playing new games inside. I attempted "52 card pick up" with the twins...they got bored after picking up about half. 

We got bored...

The yurt had a futon that converted to a full sized bed, and a bunk with a twin on top/full on the bottom. The first night Abbey and I shared the full bottom bunk, and Daddy and Luke shared the futon bed (AKA "The Back Destroyer").  Snuggling with our babies overnight was one of Dave and I's favorite parts of the trip, hands down.
A severe down side to this yurt was the skylight. While beautiful, it also allowed the sun to stream in at 5:30am.
As sweet as it was cuddling with our babies, it was slightly less adorable when they were poking our faces and saying "it's morning now!" at the crack of dawn.

The rain had a break in it the first morning, so we made a mad dash for the beach, even though it was incredibly windy.

Luke didn't care one bit that it was cold and windy. He was thrilled to be exploring. I swear, that boy will endure nearly any element to get to be outside!

Dory was having a blast too. This was our first trip to the beach with her, and she was soooo in love. She kept running and sliding into the sand and rolling around. We were so glad we brought her!

We were only on the beach about 10 minutes before Abbey declared "I'm cold Momma. I want to go back to da yurt"
I was too, so back we went.

When the boys (and Dory) returned, we decided to load up in the van and head into town for lunch...mainly because we were all a little sick of the inside of the yurt at that point.

Over lunch Dave and I debated just packing up and heading home that day. We came thisclose to doing so. In fact, we decided that was the plan and headed back to camp. But on the way there, the sun came out!!!

The kids were thrilled to play with their new trucks (thank you, Target Dollar Spot) and sidewalk chalk.

...and just run around outside!

We were finally able to make a real campfire!

S'Mores the right way!

The twins were all about the bunk bed. They loved climbing the side up to the top bunk over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

The next day was beautiful and we were SO glad we had stayed!

We hit the beach...

It was such a beautiful area...

AbbeyGirl had an absolute blast digging...

And playing Fetch with Dory!

Dave and Luke jumped some waves...

...annnnd back to digging =)

Our little Family...

Daddy took the twins to take showers while I packed the van up and cleaned out the yurt...

All in all it was a trip for the Memory Books and we are so glad we went! We look forward to many more camping trips to come =)