My friend, Marta, posted this observation on her blog today in reference to the ever-changing toddler years...
it's true–i know–i am pulling at our moments and greedily pocketing them. every day there is something worthy of writing down and i try to nip it into memory. but then, swiftly it is taken by another toddler sweet-ism and the second makes me forget the first. these moments are like clean clothes pinned to a line in the breezy backyard. such a breathtaking scene, even in its ordinary-ness. though we are too busy playing beneath the waving material that i can rarely breathe in the pure beauty of it. and before i know it, suddenly a strong wind comes and we create a new game of picking the loose clothing up. a new and happy memory is already in the works.
Tears so easily flowed as I read her post. I am sitting in my empty house after getting the girls off to school. There are days where I long for those slow-moving, easy days of the toddler and preschool time. Where getting out the paints was the big event of the day, and where fuzzy, pajama-clad cuddles were the norm of the evening routine. It is going too fast. It's true that each new experience and stage is fun and exciting. It makes you forget for a moment about what has just passed until very quickly you realize that a year has gone by. And then another. I am again reminded why being a grandparent will be such a gift and the only way I will get to experience holding a tiny person in my arms who will mean the world to me all over again.
Heather will be 13 in just two months. Jenna loves independence. We have challenges and personality clashing moments, but those are not the things that stay with me. Luckily, both of my girls still find me for hugs. The long kind where we each take a deep breath and savor a moment. Like Marta, I am also greedily pocketing the present moments. There isn't much time to mourn with these beautiful young women in my house who still bring so much joy. But every now and then, on a quiet morning alone, I remember those little cheeks, the silly giggles, and the sweet kisses of my babies.
We drove to Orange and Brea today to clean gravestones and leave flowers for our parents. We ran into some friends at Carmen and Ray's grave. Bill served in WWII and he was visiting others from his ward and remembering his buddies. He was very emotional. Those of us who haven't served are pretty removed from the effects of military service. I was actually glad to run into Bill today. He offered an exceptional reminder as we stood among the veterans' grave markers (white crosses) in the cemetery remembering those we know personally who have served in war. We shared with Bill and Lou that Kelly's grandpa served in both WWI and WWII, and his four oldest uncles served in WWII.
We've also done a little shopping for future hikes today and looked at some furniture. We had lunch together and have enjoyed Kelly having the day off. The weather is beautiful (sunny and breezy 75 degrees). We're planning on seeing Avengers in a little bit after the "kids" get done playing Xbox. We'll be glad when school is over in a few weeks and we can enjoy the summer.
We completed the first of our pre-Half Dome conditioning hikes this weekend with an overnight hike to Hoegee's Campground in the Angeles National Forest. The hike was 3 miles in and the same out as we hiked the two different trails on the loop. Although the altitude was only about 3,000 ft., it was pretty green. A creek runs through this area, and we had to cross it quite a few times. The troops did a great job, helped with camp set up and take down, and loved playing in the creek. My personal favorite was falling asleep to the sound of both the creek and an owl hooting in the trees. Our hiking shoes and poles were a great investment as were the small backpacks we found on sale for the girls. Hike #2 is scheduled for June. Stay tuned...
Oh how I wish I had some fantabulous blog post for everyone today, but the truth is that we have nothing overly exciting happening around here. Everyone is recovering from ailments (thank goodness), we're getting ready for our first adventure hike, Winston will have his first overnight dogsitter and we're simply doing the best to put one foot in front of the other each day (some of us do better than others). I took a moment yesterday to soak in a little eye candy in the neighborhood (no, Channing Tatum was not jogging through). We have some brilliant blooms coloring the landscape, and I LOVE it. Beauty like this causes me to stop and take a deep breath, literally. It is if I am reminded that someone is in charge and all is well.
Today was a sick day for us. Heather had a temperature this weekend, visited the doctor today and has antibiotics for her yucky sinus infection. Jenna had some tummy trouble this morning and scored a day off because the mama's head hurt and she didn't have the energy to rally the weary troops. Sometimes you just have to give-in and start over tomorrow. Well, at least that's how I look at it. Maybe this doesn't happen to everyone? For now I'll just assume it does and conclude that I'm doing just fine (ha,ha).
When February 4 rolled around, there was no possible way we could celebrate Jenna's double digit birthday with the sleepover she wanted to have. It was the first weekend of rehearsals for our church production, and we just could not accommodate a full celebration. Weekend after weekend went by, and we finally planned a weekend where we could have the celebration Jenna wanted. Jenna's theme was all things purple, and Heather helped to get all the decor together. Daddy is off on a campout, so having Heather was awesome.
The party girls have had a blast tonight playing games at the park, eating pizza, munching, and enjoying a Dairy Queen Oreo cake. Jenna received some very lovely presents, and the girls have had some great bonding time. We're down to our sleepover crew who are watching a movie and settling down. Happy birthday Jen! Sorry it took so long to get you a right, proper celebration!
After waking sleeping girls this morning and sitting down to breakfast with them, I pulled down our big calendar and some Unifix cubes. I counted how many more days of school were left, chose summer colors, and put together 27 cubes. We pulled one off and decided it would be our morning tradition for the next 26 school days to combat our anti-school-morning feelings. The girls loved it.
Yesterday I hung our new canvass. It's a 16X20 photo of the Savior showing the prints in His hands. My sister brought it out to us explaining that it was a company error and was an extra canvass in their home. The company printed the wrong photograph, replaced it with the correct one she ordered, but told her to keep this one. We were the lucky recipients. As religious as we are (and we are very), we have yet to have a picture of the Savior in our home. I think I was waiting for some extra money, and the right one to come along (large, framed prints can be expensive). Anyway, this was perfect, and every time I look at it, it reminds me of the values I need to emulate.
Michelle was also getting rid of this cute Pottery Barn shelf, and we were happy to receive it. It looks great in Heather's room and will help hold some of her literature collections (don't know where she gets that need from). We left the shelf supports up from her old shelf when Kelly jokingly suggested it so he wouldn't have to drill so many drywall screws into the wall. We tried it, and I thought it blended well with the cottage look of her desk and bed. It's a keeper!
Jenna made a soccer shelf in her room, and it's really cute. I don't know what we'll do if she adds more trophies, but for now, it's just perfect for her and makes her happy.
Streamers on my bedroom door welcomed me to breakfast as did the "MOM" Heather made out of streamers. A yummy breakfast of fluffy scrambled eggs, hash browns (Kelly makes the best!) and bacon was super delicious, and my decorated chair was awesome (I felt like a queen on her throne). Dinner was just as yummy and prepared by my hub and girls: shrimp and mushroom fettucini and lobster tail with tossed salad, cheese bread and lemon-lime aide. Dessert was scrumptious chocolate on chocolate cake decorated by Heather, and among my sweet cards was a Willow Tree statue titled, "Love of Learning." While all of these fun things were being prepared throughout the day, I was able to get ready for church, read, play Words With Friends on my phone, and I even got in a nap. My husband and girls did a perfect job of showing me their love on this special day. xoxo
Today was the last soccer game of the spring season. Jenna played well, and it has been fun to watch her and friend, Ava, play together. Jenna is signed up for the Fall season at the next level, U12. We'll see what the future has in store for this soccer lover.
I'm a wife and mother of two of the sweetest girls ever. In my former life, I was an elementary school teacher. I love learning and sharing experiences, and the chance to journal for posterity. I wish I knew as much about my ancestors as my posterity is going to know about me!