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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Further From Home

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With all the intense life changing events happening in the world right now, it was a welcome distraction when Wil was offered a beach house by one of HCFM parishioners to use this past week.  This will prove to be one of the most awesome things about living near a beach and knowing people who own beach/creek homes.  The girls didn’t sleep all that well the first night which actually allowed us to watch the sunrise on the ocean.  It has been a looooong time since I’ve seen a sunrise.  I do miss the mountains at times but having the resource of sand and salt with a beach chair stuck between can lessen a lot of worries.

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Our weather was a bit chilly when the wind blew but sunny and we all got our first taste of sun-kissed shoulders and noses.  Our invitations for friends to visit the beach house were for the most part acted on and we had a whole lot of laughter and relaxation.  There was also a ping pong championship between Wil and I and although it was a close game, he won by one point.

With no television or computer to draw me into the media coverage, I stayed informed but not obsessed which gave me time to process this changing landscape of humanity.  I get so sad for my children but I also see opportunity.  The more we know as people, the better ways we can figure out to combat hate.  Of course, ignorance is bliss but as we learn, there’s no turning back.

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We are back at our house today and Wil headed out the door early for a flight to New York City.  He is going to go see the band Further with his friends and I am glad to see him missing a Sunday for something besides a face plant into the carpet of the chapel.   We’ve had some growing pains lately with the incoming teeth and the battle of wills but still so much joy.  I’m concocting plans for summer to keep us busy and Lilly can’t get enough crafting and coloring.  Willow is definitely in a “me” phase which is much more noticeable with two children.  Lilly is mostly patient with Willow.  When Lilly gets bossy with Willow, I try to explain how Willow needs her as a friend and not another parent.

Willow is trying out new sounds everyday.  For swings or hammocks, she calls them “Weeeee!”  Stubborn to the end, she still won’t say any of the words we’ve been working on for awhile like “down” and “more.”  Her obsession for Choo Choo Soul comes out as she walks around the house with a questioning look saying, “Choo choo?”  Everyone is finally healthy (knock on wood) and the energy returns.  Lilly is showing her brain by making up new phrases and trying to remember large words that she has heard.  Willow pushed all the remote buttons and turned on the TV.  With worried face, Lilly said, “Willow resuscitated the TV.”  Also after dropping a box of crayons Lilly exclaimed, “It’s a crayon-tatsrophy!”  Every other week, Lilly will bring up going to dance class.  We will probably put her in one next year but while talking about dance she asked, “I wonder if I’m pretty enough to go to dance?”  My shock and worry produced a quick and passion filled response which caught her off guard.  I went into a classic explanation about beauty coming from within a person and how she is so beautiful.  It seemed to appease her for the moment.

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The spring is turning out to be great now that the pollen isn’t as intense and the weather is mild.

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Perscribed Joy

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We had some firsts today, and hopefully some lasts.  Early in the morning, I took Willow to the pediatrician because a cough she has had for over a week turned deep.  I’m glad I took her in because she needed to receive breathing treatments so that the symptoms didn’t become worse.  She doesn’t like them.  It is strange that she cries while she gets them but is so peaceful about it in her body language, laying her head against my chest and relaxing her arms and legs.  The treatments help and I think she knows it but still wants to put up a fight because no one likes being sick.  Willow with her subtle little laugh and her upside down paci……..

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After the pediatrician, we rushed home to grab Lilly and Wil for our dentist appointments.  It was Lilly’s first time so they didn’t do a whole lot of cleaning but more explaining what the tools are and letting her get comfortable.  She ended up in my lap but she did a good job saying “Ah” and having them polished.  Willow also found a spot on my lap during the process so it was a family affair.   The hygienists took pictures so we must have been quite the show that day.

 

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When we got home, everyone rested (except Wil who went to yet another appointment and is feeling much better these days) rested and then we had a big night of watching Charlotte’s Web. Lilly and I just finished reading the book which has made me choke up multiple times.  Lilly loved hearing the story of Wilbur and Charlotte and we would discuss what had happened and try to guess what was going to happen based on the next chapter title.  When Charlotte died, I totally cried!  Lilly just said, “Oh no” and gave me her best worried face.  I also happy cried realizing that Lilly can picture the story now and doesn’t need the pictures.  Learning words like “humble” and “salutations” along the way.  I am looking forward to our next chapter book whatever it might be.

We were all just sitting on the couch like one big happy family when the movie ended and it all turned sour.  Lilly decided to wage a war against us and be as stubborn about bedtime as she possibly could be.  In my head, I was recalling all the tips and tricks I so badly want to implement and be successful at.  One that came to mind was from “a parenting manifesto of joy” that I received at my book club last night and it states: Today, the moment when I am most repelled by a child’s behavior, that is a sign to draw the very closest to that child.

I gave it all I had.  I loved her, I killed her with kindness, I even force hugged her as I tried to get to the bottom of the tantrum and NOTHING was working.  She was not going to go get in that bed no matter how many privileges we took away and no matter how angry we could make our eyebrows become.  Finally…..finally after I ended up giving myself a time out to take a deep breath, she trudged to her bed with tear stains and a defeated demeanor.  It broke. my. heart.  This is of course not the first time something like this has taken place and we all know it won’t be the last.

As a parent, it is difficult when I feel inadequate.  I doubt myself and when I doubt it is like my children can smell it in the air.  I can’t help but think about all the women in my life with grown children who repeat the mantra of enjoying every moment with my little ones.  I know Lilly and Willow are going to grow up and become happy women with their own families.  Holding onto that thought keeps me in check and allows me to try all the techniques I read about on mommy blogs and in self help books.  It also allows me to rely on myself and know that many, many women before me have fought this same battle and conquered it with happy hearts and joyful children.  So I listen to myself, I talk to God and I talk to my husband.  Tomorrow she will be older, she will be smarter and she will thankfully still be mine to love.

“Today I will laugh! And I will let the little children laugh! I will create a culture of Joy!”

Passover Pass Out

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It was like the Easter that never was.  As all of us Priest and Pastor wives know, Holy Week is a doozy.  Most churches have at least 5 services if not more and it all leads up to a huge Easter celebration with egg hunts and flower adorned crosses and maybe even sheet cake with sugary sweet icing.  Wil spent most of Holy Week nursing a delicate balance between sick, tired and so completely excited by all he was able to do.  Adrenaline carried him through his days while sleep didn’t find him for long during the nights.  His cough had worsened by Saturday but he was still sermon writing and phone call making left and right.  I had gone to the church Saturday to help hide the 1000’s of eggs for the big hunt after the service and Lilly had managed to dye a few into pretty pastels earlier in the day.

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Kei Kei and Pepaw were also in town and Lilly was loving all the crafts and Willow was loving all the attention.  Sunday morning, I lay in bed asleep when a knock came at the front door before the sun had even risen.  Wil had already left for the sunrise service which would mark the first of four services and everyone else was fast asleep in the warmth of our home.  It was Suzy, our parish administrator and as I opened the door, I am sure my look of confusion overpowered my bed head and swollen eyes.  She said, “Wil has passed out and hit his head.  An ambulance just took him to the ER.”                      silence                     I calmly went and put jeans on and as I woke everyone up to let them know where I was headed, emotion found me.  I traveled down the road with Suzy feeling a bit nauseous and a lot shocked.

As I headed into the ER with its quiet atmosphere and technology filled corridors, I found a curtain that stood between myself and Wil.  Peeking around it, I saw him there with a big gash on his head from hitting the floor and an IV giving him much needed liquid sustenance.  Vulnerable he was.  Sad he was.  Sick he was.  My heart broke for him.  Pneumonia was the official diagnoses and he was given medicine and a required week off of any activity.  While with him, I was overcome by the stomach bug that had been traveling around and we both just curled up into little balls of sick and waited for the moment to pass.  Of course it did and Easter carried on without us.  Retired Priests and Deacon Melissa picked up where Wil had left off.  The church was overflowing, so they say, with happy faces ready to celebrate the day.  Not one egg was hid at our house. No chocolate bunny was consumed.  No one wore their Easter best.  What we did have was a new understanding for a community and family that works together and cares for each other.  Wil is claiming he will change his work load a bit especially when he is under the weather.  We just had no idea he was as sick as he was but he is feeling much better and happy to be back at work.

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Meanwhile, the weather jumped from winter to summer and the flowers are everywhere!  I was able to make it to the Gulf for my Sewanee Girl Weekend.  It’s an understatement to say that we had fun and I was able to unwind and de-stress with some of my best friends.  Lilly and Willow spent lots of time with their grandparents while I was gone and lots of time with Wil which was a hidden joy in all of this.  Our routine is almost back to normal and we look ahead to our first full summer at the beach.

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