Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry and Bright

Dear Grace, Emma Kate, and Reece,

Before you, I had decorations that were placed with perfection; I wanted all decorations to exude elegance; and all presents were wrapped in burgandy, gold, or dark green paper tied up with ribbon to match the recipient's personality. That's how Christmas used to be. And then you each came along. And you brought magic with you.

Now I've been reminded of the magic of Santa's reindeer, the joy of decorating with no rules except tickling your fancy. I've been reminded of anticipation, excitement, and whimsy.

Now it's about which kind of cookie is Santa's favorite. I used to be completely against "characters" and then princesses and a prince became rulers at our house. I still like pretty, wrapped packages, but now pretty is defined as shiny, pink, whimsical.

I've been reminded of trips to see Santa, writing letters to Santa, and driving around to find the best Christmas lights. I've been reminded of what it feels like to be too excited to sleep the night before Christmas.

It's not about perfect decorations, but now about decorations that tell a story. Stories of childhood, stories of time spent together.

The most important story. It used to be about a story I knew and treasured in my heart. Now it's a story that I need to instill in my children's hearts and teach you to treasure. Now Christmas is about a 3 year old's reenactment of Mary and her baby boy, her Redeemer. It's about the story of God leaving the splendor of heaven to be born in the most humble of ways told from the heart of a 4 year old.

Now Christmas is about making memories while celebrating the birth of our Savior.

Thank you for the memories. I will treasure them forever.

Merry Christmas 2011, Loves.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Reece - 4 months

Dear Reece,

You turned 4 months old just before Christmas.  This month  you celebrated your first Thanksgiving and your first black Friday. :)   Though you were too little to eat turkey this year, you are still enjoying your milk quite a bit.

At 4 months old, your blue eyes seem to sparkle even more than they did, and you have turned into the smiliest little boy I've ever seen.  It doesn't take much for your mouth to spread into a wide grin and then the coos begin.  Oh, how you have found your voice.  The coos, gurgles, and babbles are simply precious.  You make my heart swell and melt on a daily basis.  Those snippets of giggles we heard last month have become full fledged belly laughs.

This month you have started interacting with your sisters.  I'm pretty sure their hearts melt as well when those smiles and goos are meant just for them.  You have also begun learning how to play with your toys - grasping, batting, and of course chewing on them.  Chewing - that brings us to another new point for 4 months.  You must be teething because everything goes straight to your mouth, you can fit your whole fist in your mouth, and a bib is our number one fashion accessory.

You are still such a good baby.  As long as you have your tummy full, diaper dry, and are being held, you don't complain.  Most evenings since I have gone back to work, you stay in my arms. You fuss the second I lay you down, and I am more than happy to oblige you.  So, We cook together, clean together, play with Grace and Emma Kate together, and eat together. At night you still sleep wonderfully, going to sleep around 8:00 and waking up around 4:00 am to eat, and then spending the rest of the night cuddling with me.  It's amazing how perfectly you fit in my arms.  I am loving every minute of you and feel so blessed to be your mama.

Love you to the moon and back,

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Thanksgiving is the time to reflect on all we're thankful for.  It would take me a million years to list all that I am thankful for, for God has blessed me immeasurably.  No, instead, I want to write out some of the little things I'm thankful for.  Little things that might not be caught at first glance, but little things about my Littles that I want to remember forever.  

I am thankful for little hands. Hands that grasp my finger as sleepy town is met. Hands that are becoming nimble and hanging on to the last of baby chub. Hands that have become slender as they learn to write. 

I am thankful for dimples on chins, chubby bellies, and beside toothless grins

I am thankful for imaginations so vivid that fights breakout over who gets to stand beside the imaginary girl. So vivid that they refuse to answer to their name being called in a store because they are "somebody else".

I am thankful for giggles. Giggles that come from way down deep in the belly. Giggles that last way past bed time. Giggles that mean sisters are being friends.

I am thankful for eyes. Green, black, and blue. Always curious, always learning. 

I am thankful for being able to nurse my babies.  This is such a special time that I treasure.

I am thankful for having my hands full. Strangers seem to love to point out that having 3 kids under 5 is a handful, and they are right - my hands are full. So is my heart. 

I am thankful for being needed in the middle of the night. A full night's sleep is unheard of, but it means that someone needs me for nourishment, and someone needs me for comfort. The fact that I can provide both means way more than uninterrupted sleep. 

I am thankful for aching, heavy arms. I am thankful that these little ones I've been blessed with love to be held. I make no claims to be an expert on parenting, but this I know to be true. As I hold my biggest Little, and her legs reach much farther than they used to, I've learned that time passes much to quickly and if I can hold them close for even a minute, it gives me the chance to etch a memory in my mind. 

I'm am thankful for never having "me time". Having a baby on my hip and 4 little helping hands ever present as I prepare meals, clean messes, grocery shop, and get ready in the mornings means my children crave my company. And, I've learned that when I am not with them, a piece of my heart is not with me as well.  I miss them.  I really miss them.  All the biggies about them, and all the littles.  I'm afraid that a time will come when they will not crave my company, so on days when I think "if I could just have 5 minutes..." or I'm tripping over little feet because they are trailing so close they could be an appendage, I will remember to be thankful for being someone they want to be near in that moment.

Just a few of the little things.  Oh, there are so much more, like the sound of their voices, the shape of their faces, the smell of their freshly bathed skin.  These little things are the things I treasure up in my heart, and I realize that it is these little things that are truly the big things.  The big things that make my Littles who they are, make them so special, make them mine.