Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kindergarten and the Pre-Teen Year

Heather at Disneyland -- December 9, 2010 -- age 11

It will now be recorded that this week, the week of February 20, 2011, was the week my sweet baby began to slip for longer periods into the realm of the "pre-teen". It seems silly to blog about this, but the changes that were once presented as glimpses here-and-there have now started to take root. I am both excited and nervous, and I'm also getting a wake-up call -- this is it, and this mama needs to get a grip. I haven't handled some of the outbursts so well. My heart is more open to this little girl than to just about anyone else. She loves so deeply and has, so far, been so predictable that one would never expect any darts to be flung from her direction. When that happens, my open heart is instantly crushed. I know these next few years will be but a small moment in her development, I know the shift is necessary, and I know that how I handle myself will be important.

It wasn't very long ago that I recorded my thoughts after that agonizing first day when I dropped Heather off for Kindergarten.

Heather's first day of Kindergarten - September 8, 2004 -- age 5

I sent my baby girl to Kindergarten today. My heart is so full of different emotions. I am happy to see her progression and to share in this new season of her life. School is so fun! But my heart is breaking beneath the smile. I have purposely stayed at home these past five years with her. Did I do enough? Have I loved her enough? Nurtured enough? Laughed enough? Played enough? Hugged and kissed and cuddled enough? Did I spend too much time on chores and not enough time on her growth? Did I teach her to be successful? Did I leave out anything? Never again will we be at home together all day with no schedule but our own. She has begun her school path. She will not be my "mommy and me hanging out at home" baby girl anymore. I laid on the floor in her room on the eve of my last day at home with her and wept. I weep now as I write these words. I love her so much it hurts. I want her to be successful, and loved and cherished. I don't want her to be hurt, sad or afraid. I realize that I don't have control over any of these things, but I still desire them. Will she think of me during the day? Of her home, her room, her special things? Will her heart warm with these thoughts? Did I make enough memories for her thus far? I think we should have painted more, played more games, made more play-doh dinners. I have guilt over the days I slept in. The days she watched PBS for several hours while I got caught up on housework. I am so, so sorry about mistakes I'm not even sure I've made. I love her so much...

I continued to write about my realization that she wasn't going off to college, and of my gratitude for the sweet years to come. What is really hitting me hard this week is that this little girl is growing into a young woman, and I once again ask myself some of the same questions I did when she left for Kindergarten -- Have I done enough? Have I loved her and played with her, nurtured her and laughed with her enough? It won't be long before she won't want to listen to my advice or readily accept the things I tell her. I am once again on the edges of a changing season. Time has moved so quickly, and it is now slipping through my fingers. I know I have done so much in raising this precious girl, but will I ever feel like I've done enough?

She is not going to college yet. There is time. Today, I pray just as I did on a similar day seven years ago, that I will be able to savor the next few years with my beautiful girl, that I will handle the bumpy parts of the road with grace, and that she will always, always know how very much she is loved.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Will Blog For Comments

It's happening. Even though I blog for the purpose of journaling our family life (adding in a few random tidbits here and there), and I never thought it would matter if anyone commented or not. But for some reason, when you see 0 comments for long enough it just happens. You wonder why. I'm sure it's because 1) my blog friends are leading busy lives and haven't had time to post 2) friends and/or family members don't know how to leave a comment (but they do sometimes email me, which I really love) or 3) people fall in and out of love with blogs. It's so weird how doubt can creep in, take root, and grow a whole entire garden.

So while I was having this pity party (which I'm really not), I read this on Marta Writes and decided that I've really been having blog envy which makes for very fertile doubt-persistent soil. I do not blog like these beautiful, cute, young, talented, highly creative moms. Just knowing that Marta could put my feelings into words so perfectly tells me that many suffer from the same thing.

"the crappy parts of blogging come in a number of forms; i will name a few. you are fearful about putting yourself out there. you feel greedy; you want what they have. you care too much of what others may think. you don't get any comments. you can't think up anything original to post about. you copy and paste everything onto your own blog. you are inspired by others but feel that you cannot possibly inspire others. you get sucked into everyone else's life. you are green with envy. you have unreal assumptions about bloggers. you start thinking everyone is more successful, talented, and all around better than you are. sound familiar??

if you start down this path, you'll begin to imagine that
you are the only blogger who cannot cook, who cannot scrapbook, who cannot modge podge correctly, who cannot write hilarious memoirs, who cannot reupholster, who cannot be fashionable on a dime, who cannot be a fun mom, a darling wife or a super business woman all at once. and you can certainly not attempt to bake those tiny cupcake balls and dip them into little lollipops with sesame street character featuresthat will be recognizable to your one year old at the party that you are throwing him that better beblogable, or else.

why do we do this? why do we become envious and want to become just like this person or that person. and most of them, people we've never even met in real life. we do not know that they are human. they may even have crooked teeth or large feet or a strange birthmark. we think they are, unlike ourselves, perfect in every way."

I have had a good chuckle and am now prepared to go back to blogging for my own pleasure (and of course, comments are always welcome, tee-hee). If there is anyone I hope to inspire it would be my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. If nothing else they'll know what we did and how we lived and what their wacky mom thought about from time to time.

Monday, February 21, 2011

5K Update

Early Saturday morning, I got out of bed to see if it was raining and to see if I could move. I pulled a rib on Thursday and had been to the chiropractor on Friday, but it wasn't getting better. As I walked down the hall to see if it was raining, I couldn't swing my arms. I decided to wake Heather to see how badly she wanted to run, but she groggily told be she'd hurt her knee running at school the day before. That cinched it for us and we went back to bed.

I was so disappointed. Two days later I still do not know what is wrong with my back and haven't been able to do much. We have our brand new 5K t-shirts and shirt numbers. We were all registered and ready to go. I guess we will have to look for another 5K in the area.

Next time!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Performing at Jane Seymour's Home

Background: On Saturday, February 19, Jane Seymour hosted the inaugural kick-off for her Open Hearts Foundation. She has designed a piece for Kay Jewelers which is now linked with the foundation (each guest performer received a pin). This blurb from the website describes the foundation..."The Open Hearts Foundation is a nonprofit charity established to raise funds to enrich the lives of children in the areas of health, arts, sports and education." As a part of the evening's entertainment, Katharine McPhee and William Joseph were invited to perform. William Joseph wrote a song titled, O America, which is a beautiful piece for a soloist and choir.

The exciting part: Sixty members of our Orange County Mormon Choral Organization (OCMCO) were invited to perform with Katharine McPhee and William Joseph at Jane Seymour's home to close out the night. Our green room ended up being Jane's living room while we waited to go on. Yep, Jane Seymour's living room. I still can't get over it. While waiting to go on, we heard her introduce the piece (not us because, hey, we're not famous...yet), and heard her explain how much she loves the song. Just hearing her voice was exciting! We walked in singing with Katharine and the crowd went nuts! Not only did we get a standing ovation, but the crowd was touching us on the way out and thanking us profusely. There was a lot of alcohol, but I still think they loved it.

Pictures: This blogger did not take a camera (gasp) because I assumed security wouldn't allow it, but those who brought cameras got to keep them on their person. Thanks to one of our choir members who was brilliant enough to hand her camera to our director's wife before we went on to sing, we have some photos!

Katharine McPhee singing the opening verse; William Joseph on the piano

The choir in place on either side of the stage (only half shown here)

Celebrity sightings: Rain had been predicted, so the event was in this beautiful tent. The decor was gorgeous. The woman in the headdress, whose head you can see if you look at the screen, is India Aire. She stood up the minute the choir came in and never sat down. Apparently she was sitting next to Robin Roberts from Good Morning America. I kind of missed that. I didn't recognize many of the celebs, but I did get a photo with William Joseph and our director. That picture will be added as soon as I get it from the camera that took it. If you are interested in checking out who was there, this site has some great pictures of the guests. If you are a Dancing With The Stars Fan, you'll recognize a few people.

Aside from the plain old splendor of it all, I did get to talk to Katharine for a second--I told her how fun it was to sing with her, and she said she loved hearing the choir with her. There was no rehearsal so it was the first time for all of us. And, oh-my-goodness, she is pretty! Earlier in the evening, I got to hear her sing, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, while I was in the tent looking for the couple that was going to help us on stage. I stood in the back of the tent to listen, and it was gorgeous. I will never forget her singing that on American Idol. And just for the record, I voted for her. Sorry Taylor Hicks fans.

Did I mention that I still can't get over getting to do this. Squee.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Boy Called

It is February 15, 2011, and Heather is 11.7 years old. Her friend called tonight who also happens to be a boy (a boy!). They have been friends since Kindergarten and have not been at the same school for 6th grade. It was interesting to hear them chat (for an hour!) about who is doing what and remember when. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Boys calling for my daughter. Isn't it too soon? Tell me this is too soon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Day of Love

The morning began with a heart path from the girls' room out to the table where they found heart-shaped pancakes and a little gift of new lip gloss waiting for them. Being a school holiday, we had all day to do what we wished. Unfortunately, that meant Jenna waited around a while while Heather and mom sat at the table doing catch-up homework. After that was done, we squoze in a quick trip to Payless and Target for a little girls' shoppin' time.

We ended the day with a fancy table and Valentine's Day cards. Kelly brought home a bouquet of roses for his "women" which the girls thought was really fun. We had leftover pot roast, mashed potatoes, carrots and some sparkly lemonade in fancy glasses. Our family night lesson was on personal testimonies, and our 9-year-old showed us that she did indeed understand what a testimony was. We all enjoyed each other's company and had quite a wonderful day of love.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Scissors and Making Stuff

During the Christmas break, Jenna took some scraps from the spotlight arrangements I was making for the church display case and began creating. She has done this for years, and I've not blogged about it yet. At least I don't think I have. My short term memory skills are taking a dive, but that's a story for another post.

There have been many times when she has created something, and I only know about it because I find the scissors, tape, markers, scraps of paper, etc. on the table, floor, office desk, etc. Many of the things she makes end up being filed in the rubbish bin unless it's a book she's made (she has made about 30). The scrap pictured above was one that I couldn't toss. It was adorable, and Jenna communicated something we're not always sure she feels. When she has bad days or is feeling yucky (hungry, tired, frustrated) she focuses on the negative and often gives us lists of what's wrong in her life. I am so happy that she created something that communicates to us that she feels there is love in our home. She is surely loved, and we hope when she is grown that she remembers this above all else.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Jenna's Birthday Party

Jenna's birthday party was a huge success. She wanted a monkey for her cake which she and Heather decided I could pull off. As I listened to them reminisce about the mermaid cake, the nail polish bottle cake and the Wipeout cake, I was at once filled with joy that their cakes have been so memorable to them, and anxiety because there was a lot riding on this monkey cake. I wasn't sure Jenna would forgive me if I didn't get it right. Fortunately, the outcome was to her liking.

There was not theme to this party. Jenna liked an idea I threw out to have the friends pair up and mix up their own mini-muffins, and these girls had a blast. The bonus was that their muffins became their "goodie bag" which made them very happy.

Once the muffins were baked, it was off to the park. The only thing Jenna really cared about doing during her party (aside from opening presents) was going to the park to play games. The girls were all good sports.
Ball Tag


Sack Races

Steal the Bacon (and try not to collide!)

They had fun just hanging around and being silly.

We ended up back at the house for cake and presents. Kelly was a big help with preparation and keeping the girls giggling. Heather was a hired assistant for this party and did a great job. Jenna loved all her presents and loved playing games with her friends. Happy Birthday Jen!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Jenna is 9!

Happy 9th Birthday Jenna!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

While I Was Out...

While I was at our monthly Relief Society gathering, the kids were having fun with the blocks. Very clever they are...

I understand that the photography practice was part of the evening too. Good times.