It’s just not the same …

Yesterday my son George headed back to his university ready to start the Spring semester. Again, I don’t do any of this “letting go” thing gracefully. I am sad he left. I love my kids and every second I get to spend with them is a gift. George is such a presence in our home, especially in the morning. He wakes up in a great mood. He always greets me with a cheerful “good morning, Mom” and an “I love you”. He usually has me laughing within minutes. He has such a sweet and genuine smile. His heart, GOLD. And this morning, I am missing all of it.

Well, I hope you all don’t have a day that just isn’t the same!!!

Advertisements

The beauty and joy of growth …

Yesterday I had a telephone conversation with Sid while she was on her way to meet her boyfriend. She was taking the BART in San Francisco and telling me departure times and other little details. She was a pro at San Francisco public transit. I remembered our first time on BART together while we were touring colleges. This was several years go and I worried that this type of transportation would be too overwhelming for her. I was wrong to have worried. My, how times have changed.

Yesterday I had a telephone conversation with George while he was out picking out some luggage at a store in Petaluma. LUGGAGE. My son was buying LUGGAGE. He drives himself to stores, buys luggage, gets himself to airports and flies alone now. This is my child who NEVER paid attention to details or his surroundings. The one I worried about for the longest when he crossed streets. My, how times have changed.

Yesterday when I picked Libs up from school she got into my car. We looked at each other with relief and gave a “high -five”. We discussed how WE MADE IT through this HELLA crazy week. When Libs was little she was my LAZIEST child. She and I always joke that she sat on the couch for five years. Ah, the good ole days, HA! Now she takes AP classes, is in her school’s Digital Media Program, volunteers, sings and performs with the Women’s Advanced Choir and is on the tennis team. My, how times have changed.

I bought Reese a Barbie Accessory Advent Calendar this year. She has loved it! Every morning she opens it along with her advent book box and puts a new number ornament on her little wooden tree. We were in a rush yesterday morning so we decided to wait until later when she had time to enjoy it. Last night after her bath she did her Christmas countdown regime. She was very happy about the new Barbie running shoes she just opened up and was excitedly telling everyone. She was standing down the hallway and I had to stop. Her past and present collided. I remembered a scene from last Christmas Eve that I took a picture of and put in a photobook. It was of Reese as she excitedly stood in the same hallway as we were leaving to go see Christmas lights. She seemed so much taller than the little girl I remembered last year. Her speech has immensely improved. And her capabilities have grown by leaps and bounds. My, how times have changed.

Yesterday, was filled with precious memories of years past and of the beauty that comes with change. I am STRUCK by moments like these. I’m so grateful to experience them. They are a treasure. I love being MOM to these four incredible souls. They truly complete me. And their growth brings me nothing but pure JOY.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you grow!!!

The same but different …

Change … it ain’t easy! As my kids have gotten older and two have gone off to college, I’ve been worried that my younger girls wouldn’t have the same types of experiences we did when their siblings were home. Especially this time of year when we are ALL ABOUT family. I’m realizing now that’s just silly. Of course my girls are having the same experiences! Our traditions and adventures still happen they just don’t look the same. For instance, there are fewer people in the car and a lot less noise, HA! But in all seriousness, this took me a while to see. I had to grow into these changes and understand that everything was going to work out just fine. And it did. We still have fun and do everything we did before (and sometimes my big kids are able to join us via FaceTime) so this makes my mom heart very happy!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you see that everything is the same but different!!!

A story about faith, love and believing in miracles …

I post these words every year. I don't think I will ever be able to change them. To do so would be an injustice to her. To me. And to all our family and friends who stood by us then and who continue to share this life with us now. This story is about our beginning together. It is a story of faith and love … and believing in miracles.

We were told when I was about 11 weeks pregnant that she did not look quite so “typical” … I didn’t care. I loved our baby. And I prayed.

A few weeks later we were told that not only was our baby “not typical”, but that there was a chance I would be delivering her still born … I wanted our baby even more fiercely than I had before. And I prayed.

Several weeks later, we almost lost our baby … to which I screamed an adamant and angry “NO!” And I prayed.

A month later we were told that our baby had a “very large hole in her heart” … to which I said, “I don’t believe you.“ And I prayed.

Two months later we were told, “Your baby is small” … to which I laughed and said, “Of all the things that you have told us, this seems pretty manageable.” And I prayed.

Two weeks later, on what was supposed to be a brief doctor’s visit before we headed to our local water park, we were told that our baby was not growing, that she was too small and that she was not acting the way she should be. We were told that I would be given another amniocentesis to see if her lungs were developed. If they were, my doctor wanted to take her right away … I felt like my body was failing her. And I prayed.

My doctor gave me a drug to speed up our baby’s lung development. The results of the amniocentesis were not what we had hoped for. My doctor told us that our baby’s lungs were not developed, our baby could not breath on her own. Now we had a team of medical professionals. They hoped nothing would go wrong for the next 48 hours so that the steroid they had given me would have time to help our baby’s lungs grow … to which I said, “OK”. And I prayed.

Less than 24 hours later I had a hospital room full of people wearing blue who were running around and pumping my body full of fluids and drugs. We were told that we could no longer wait. We were told that our baby would not be breathing and that she would be very small and weak … to which I cried in her father’s arms and said, “I’m scared.” And I prayed.

Minutes later I was strapped to a table. I had refused anything that would alter my mental state. I wanted to be there for our baby. It took a long time to get her out. I was told that she was so small that she kept slipping through the doctor’s hands. I kept screaming, “Is she out?!?!” And I prayed.

Then, I heard a cry … to which I thought, “That is a loud cry for a baby who is supposed to be weak, small and not breathing.” And I prayed.

A few minutes later our baby was brought over to me, warmly swaddled, pink as could be, breathing on her own and with no hole in her heart. (Sure, she has some extra chromosomes, but who cares about that?) And when I saw her I thought, “You are my miracle and I love you.” And then, I praised God for our beautiful daughter.

Eight years ago today, through God’s amazing grace, Reese Lindsey Grace was born by emergency cesarean section. She was 6 weeks early. She weighed 2lbs 15oz and was 15 ½ inches long. My world has not been quite the same since … and I would have it no other way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate a miracle … and always remember to pray!!!

Summer’s end and a change of pace …

It's our last Sunday of summer break. Sid and George are at college. Libs and Reese return to school on Tuesday. This summer has been a DOOZEY. Emotional and exciting don't even come close to describing it. The summer of 2017 will go down as one of my all time favorites.

I never want summer to end but there is something about the routine that comes with the start of a new school year that grounds me. Summer months tend to feel (and be) more spontaneous and frivolous. But the Fall, winter and Spring months have a coziness to them. Our days are filled with the orderliness of schedules, sports and school, and by the end of August I'm usually ready for it. Fall and winter around this house are filled with magic and traditions that I have come to love. This year we even have some different things planned as well. I'm looking forward to both the familiar back-to-school regimen and the new life we will carve out for ourselves. Our family dynamics are not the same with two of my four children out of the house now. Life will undoubtedly be different, but I know it will be good for all of us.

So am I ready to say "goodbye" to these incredible days of summer? Yes. I believe I am. I will tuck their memories away in my heart. And I will be grateful for each and every moment that I got to spend with the people I love most in this world. God blessed me with another summer … and I truly can't be more thankful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are ready for a change of pace!!!

Go with the flow …

Winding down from the past eight days hasn't been easy. Coming home to a house that is down so many in numbers has just been weird. And of course now it's time to get ready for Libs' and Reese's first day of school next week AND their birthdays.

Life is ALWAYS busy. At least mine is. And I love it. I don't mean the busyness. I mean the "life" part. My life is never boring. It's full of change. It's full of happiness and pain. We have great times and we have struggles. It simply amazes me that it all keeps moving fluidly. And we just glide along with all of it mapping out a new course as each day passes.

I agree that times can be hard. I'm currently in one. I'm grieving the changes in our family. I miss my kids and what was. But I know I'll adapt and figure it all out. That is the beauty that comes with accepting life as it is and as it should be. It will come. This time might be difficult but my life is still incredible. I still laugh and enjoy every crazy mixed-up and turned around situation I find myself in. And I love and adore the people who I have chosen and who have chosen me share them with. We drift through this life together like a stream. My life takes many twists and turns. I don't always see what lies beneath the water. Heck, sometimes I don't want to. But it's all a part of this magnificent opportunity we have been given time and time again … to find joy in each new day. And as long as I have breath, no matter what I may be facing, I will seek it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you go with the flow!!!

Driving away …

Today we leave this town. Today we leave my son George at his college knowing that we won't see him again for two months. This is hard. This is going to be the most difficult day in this whole process so far. I've lived this once before with Sid. I didn't do it gracefully. I cried. Heck, I sobbed. I wasn't myself for a good week and even then I was pretty sketchy. I expect the same will happen again. And I make no excuses. It's not every day that you get in your car and leave your child knowing that you won't see them again for months. I joke and say that this whole thing would be easier if I hadn't been the one to teach my kids how to use a spoon! Seriously, they went from not being able to feed themselves to leaving for college in what seems to be a really short time. Logically I know that I had about 17 years from spoon usage learning to college classes but today that gap in time doesn't seem nearly long enough today. I selfishly want more time with George. But my love for him somehow allows me to also want this new life for him even more. And even though I don't think I'll ever feel ready for it, I know that he is.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you drive away!!!