Tuesday, June 30, 2009
I must be coming to some kind of crossroads in my life because lately I've been thinking a lot about change and everything that has changed in my life over the past 10 years. I hope this isn't the Lord preparing me for some kind of impending trial.
Six months later, I think that quite possibly was what the Lord was doing -- preparing me for a trial. Spokane has been extremely difficult for me for a few reasons, but one in particular which I care not to disclose at this time. And, most of you would probably think it was trivial anyway...but to me, it was certainly not. "The trial" had already begun when I wrote the January post, but I was not yet fully aware of how intense it would become. Now, one could easily say that Samantha has been a trial for us. I don't quite feel that most of the time. In fact, I believe she is more of a blessing than anything. Sure, there are some specific trying situations associated with our lovebug -- her seizures are hard for me still -- and I feel like those, at times, are a trial of our faith. But even those are only for short periods of time. This particular trial has been consistently painful and emotionally arduous for the past 6 months. No breaks. No moments of reprieve. Unfortunately, I believe there were plenty of times when I complained and didn't handle it well -- and maybe, by my own immaturity, I delayed the end of the trial. I was just so physically, emotionally, and spiritually worn out. Never have I experienced anything quite like this -- and hope to not have to experience anything like this again. But, through it all, I believe that I gained a better understanding of the church and the gospel. I most definitely gained a deeper testimony of prayer. And I gained a greater love and appreciation for my husband. During this time, I have also created some friendships that, without them knowing it, were a greater support to me than they could ever realize.
It wasn't until tonight when I looked back to January that I recognized the Lord preparing me for this trial. At that time, my thoughts were so focused on my family and the joy I receive from being a wife and mother. I didn't realize then how important those thoughts would be to me in order to ground me during such a troubling time. The Lord does prepare us for the storm. We may not recognize it at first, but He does prepares us. And I believe that through earnest prayer, He will also sustain us.
At one point, I would have packed up my bags and moved from Spokane with only 10 minute notice, believing that fleeing from Spokane would solve the problem. But it seems like something crazy happened overnight. I'm attached. We don't know exactly when we are leaving, but the idea of it makes me a little sad. Maybe it's because of my friends. Maybe it's because of all I've learned here. But really, it's probably a lot of both. I'm grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord that enable us to survive when we feel like we can't -- or when we don't want to. I've experienced a lot of His tender mercies here, and feel nothing but blessed.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
I spent much of the morning preparing Samantha's birthday cake. After Callie ate breakfast she dipped her fingers in the powdered sugar I was using. Instead of being frustrated, I thought it was kind of cute. She giggled and I tossed some sugar at her face. She was absolutely gorgeous to me as her smile stretched from ear to ear and then opened wide, revealing her bright white teeth, to release a huge built-up giggle Callie style -- which really is more like a cackle. The sugar on her hands and arm created a stark white contrast to her beautiful dark skin. She really made me stop because of how beautiful I thought she looked. And in that moment I remembered that we adopted her. It may seem kind of strange, but I forget that sometimes. I was overwhelmed with gratitude that she is mine. That I get to see that smile, hear that crazy crackle, read her books, teach her where her tummy is, sing her songs, put her to bed, etc. In that moment, Callie at age 2, 3, 5, and 8 flashed before me. I'm so excited for Callie's future. I'm excited to take her places, to send her off to school, to watch her soccer games or dance recitals or choir performances. I'm excited to live life with her because she emanates joy in all she does. That is a moment I want to capture with Callie -- her innocence, joy, and beauty. I do happen to think that Callie is a pretty girl, but her personality is what makes her adorable. She is a happy and fun little girl. I can't stop her from waving to people everywhere we go (ok, not that I've tried). She makes people around her happy. I can't tell you how many people randomly come to our shopping cart while we're out because Callie has lured them over with the triple threat -- smiles, giggles, and waves. But she is also a sincere little girl. She is beginning to learn about feelings and has become more compassionate to others as she realizes someone is "saaaad". There is a genuine look of concern on her face when she sees someone cry. As her mother, I hope that she always understands that inner-beauty transcends any physical shell. I hope she understands that about herself and maybe more importantly, about others.
Callie is currently taking a nap. She has started taking one nap a day which allows a few hour block for Mommy Sammy time. I admit that most often this "free time" isn't spent playing one on one with Sammy. Rather, it is spent cleaning, cooking, organizing, or doing anything else I need to do for our home. And typically this is fine because this is usually the period of the day when Sammy is playing on her own and is very content. Though she isn't napping, it is, in a sense, her own down time when she can do her own thing. Today, however, was different. Too often I get caught up with things I need to do. I get too busy. Well, lately, I've been tired...guess I must be slowing down in my old age. I laid down on the couch and brought Samantha up with me. She began jumping on me, which wasn't all that comfortable, but she was sure having fun. After a few minutes, I took her and held her close. Together we curled up on the couch. She didn't fight it. She didn't twist and turn. She just laid there with me, curled up against her mommy on the couch. She began softly talking "woa woa woa" while I played with her hair. At one point she began chewing on my shirt. I didn't care. She then wiggled her face into my neck and stayed there for the next 30 minutes. She didn't fall asleep, she just stayed there occasionally letting me know she was still awake by slipping out a very soft, whispered "woa". I loved it. During that time, I hoped that Sammy would know that I loved her, that she would understand that I am trying my best. I told her that I am so happy to be her mommy and that my life would be so sad without her. I told her that I would always be right here for her and we could lay like this on the couch whenever she wanted. I also told her she has super huge biceps -- because she really does! We were on the couch for 45 minutes together before she started to giggle. Why the giggle? I have no idea but it was pretty darn cute. So I tickled her so she'd have a real reason to giggle.
Now she's up, playing with a balloon and roaming the family room, and Callie will be waking up soon. I've tried to write down these personal experiences so I remember. I know, though, that they are greatly lacking the proper words and description that really explain how I feel in those moments. One day I'll reread this, and I'll be glad I wrote it down...and it will still be lacking. But I do also believe that one day, when my mind is perfect, it will recall all the moments I wish I could capture perfectly but just couldn't...and they will be pure memories, as if I were there again. I can't really imagine that day, but I think it'll be pretty great.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The girls got all dressed up cute for church...in watermelon attire.
And boy did they get some compliments today at church.
But before we left for church, we took our Father's Day pictures. Daddy with Callie...
Daddy with both of his baby girls...
And Daddy with his lil' Samsquatch.
After church, we did dinner, and presents! Wahoo. Marcus scored big this year...shoes from my dad, a case for our GPS (thanks Mom and Dad again), an Outback gift card from my parents (mmmm my once a year Queen Victoria steak!), I Love You Daddy book from Callie -- because she loves to be read to, We Are Marshall from Sammy because football season is quickly approaching and she liked going to the games with Daddy, framed pictures of the girls, and Playstation 2. Yeah, I got that one for free. A friend who is moving and decluttering decided to declutter her playstation. I thought I'd help her, do a good deed ya know?
Here's a close-up of the framed pictures. I can't tell you how difficult it was to do this! Painting the letters, no problem. Getting the girls to hold the letters and take a cute picture? Good luck. The letter "A"? Yeah. That was the best shot we got.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
In constant motion
Woa Sammy, a bit too close
Alright, let's slow down and take the food out of your mouth
I've been organizing our videos and came across this. Callie is so funny. This is a couple months old, but here's Callie giving some animal sounds. Marcus tried to teach her what a piggie says, but she can't quite do it -- so she's come up with her own way.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
This is a small demonstration of the Daddy Game. We've never officially named it that, but I can't think of anything else. We've posted video similar to this in the past, but we thought this was pretty cute. This was taken a few months ago, but we came across it last night on our camera. She gets so excited and jumps up and down. Callie tried to get in the action a little bit too. What fun kids.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Once the website created this word collage, I was really happy to see Callie and Sammy's names in large print (though I felt bad that "Marcus" wasn't written hugely across the page)...and family, love, and child standing out a little more prominently than other words like, oh, say "Beyonce" and "forget." Being a mom is really what consumes my life -- and consumes it in a really great, happy way. I think about my punkin and munchkin all day long. I even dream about them. A mom just doesn't get a break.:) I love my family and feel so blessed to have them.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
There's just something about Beyonce that Callie loves. Other songs are somewhat entertaining, but she really puts her moves on showcase when "All The Single Ladies" comes on. She must have been born with soul because we didn't teach her these moves. (That's Sammy yelling in the background.)
Monday, June 8, 2009
rating: 5 of 5 stars
I loved this book! Written through a series of letters, you get fresh insight on all the characters. Particularly enjoyable is the fact that it takes place during WWII, a tragic time in our world's history, but it isn't overwhelmingly depressing and sad. Of course sad things happen, but it is mixed with laughter, love, and true friendship. I also enjoyed that books and literature were what helped this group of friends make it through such a hard time. Loved the book. Recommend it to all. Everyone in our book club loved it too (which is a relief since I picked it and led the discussion.)
Saturday, June 6, 2009
I've seen other babies in this super cute Target suit. Sooo cute.
Sammy with Aunt Lisi.
For some reason, I just love pictures like this -- kids walking while holding a hand. In particular, with Sammy, I love it because we have worked so hard in physical therapy to get her to this point where she will actually walk holding a hand. The only real beautiful shots of Manito Park that we got were of the girls with family. Those are the real picture keepers anyway. Who needs to see beautiful gardens when you've got these girlies?
Callie playing with Daddy and Grandpa