"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

~Robert Frost

Sunday, October 24, 2010

...and she will live happily ever after!

(Photo courtesy of www.hollyclousephotography.com.)

I feel like you can see in Ashley's far away eyes here some of the beautiful dreams and hopes and plans that she holds in her head and in her heart. A few of them are:

~She will have one hundred and nine puppies when she is grown up. They will all be the kinds of puppies that will lick her hands a lot, because that tickles and she likes it, and they will all sleep with her in her bed.

~She will have one son and three daughters. I think she's patterning that after her aunties and uncle, my little brother and three little sisters! Two of the girls will be named Leah and Sea. Oh, you think that's odd? Well, her son will be named Boykin!

~She will write beautiful songs to make God smile and laugh, and then she will dance to her songs, and that will make Him smile too.

~She will move to Seattle after she finds a "nice husband who will give her puppies for her birthday", and they will live there together for 40 years. They will then take a boat out on the ocean, and live on the ocean for 40 years as well.

~She will make pancakes every day. She will usually have eggs with them; fried, not scrambled like I usually make them for her. She will never make oatmeal.

~Should the one hundred and nine puppies fail to materialize, she will settle for a camel!

Monday, October 18, 2010

On Ashley Turning Four!

Dearest Ashley,

Four years ago today you burst into this world and into my heart, six weeks earlier than we expected you, eager as you always are for new experiences. In that moment when the doctor told us that you were dying inside me and I realized that I might never have the chance to hold you like I desperately longed to do, it felt like my world was ending. Your daddy held my hand and we stared at your tiny form on the ultrasound machine, praying and crying and loving you. Letting you go was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but as I asked God to hold you and do just what He had planned for your life from the beginning of time, I knew it was the very safest place you could ever be -- cradled in His arms.

And He gave you back to us, my darling girl, the most precious gift we could ever receive, hand delivered from our heavenly father. And as you have grown into the delightful four year old treasure that you are today, it has been clear each step of the way that you are His beautiful daughter, as well as ours.

Ashley, you absolutely sparkle! The vivacious way you just leap out and attack life leaves me amazed and thrilled -- even though sometimes it's hard for me to keep up with you. :-) You are always ready for the next adventure, the next challenge, the next bend in the road. You want to be learning something new every minute of every day, and you remind me of your daddy in that way. I love to see the way your sisters' faces light up when they see you, and how sweet and playful you are with them. And your love songs to God, sung at the top of your lungs with a beaming smile and usually a funny dance to go with them, are some of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard!

You are truly a miracle and an endless joy, and Daddy and I love you so very much. Happy birthday, sweetheart!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Children Are Nestled All Snug In Their Beds!

Hello! It's naptime, and this is Hannah pretending to sleep. I'm pretty sure she knows that I know that she's faking. But then again, maybe she really thinks she's that good! When I was young, I really was good at fake sleeping...wait...was I as transparent as my children are, thinking I fooled my parents while the whole time they quietly laughed in tolerant amusement?? Surely not! And Dad, no comments on that one. ;-)

And then Ashley -- well, I know that she knows she's not fooling me, since she obligingly lifted up her pillow when I came to sneak a picture, just so I could get a better shot!
I'm not sneaking in for a picture of Bethany, because she's been sleeping creatively lately (as in, sleeping on the floor in front of her bedroom door) and I don't want to smack her with the door when I open it. I may or may not have done that a few times, and let me tell you, when you wake your baby in the middle of her nap by slamming a door into her, you pretty much feel like the worst person alive!

So the girls are sleeping...or not...and I'm eating my rather late lunch, blogging, doing early prep for dinner, and folding laundry. Sometimes I wonder: once you've become a mom, is it ever possible to stop multi-tasking? I feel like I can't get my hands to stop moving sometimes. Even in the evening, if Lamont and I get a chance to curl up on the couch with a movie for a couple hours after the girls are in bed, and I think I'm completely relaxed, I realize I'm rubbing his back without thinking about it, or putting on lotion, or even eating. Never just doing nothing. It's not that it bothers me, really, because there are a lot of things to be done and I'm glad some of them can be done concurrently. But I'm just curious whether I will always be this way, just because motherhood is making it necessary for a season! Maybe over time, when I have time, I will relearn how to do only one thing at a time. :-)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tidbits for Tuesday

October has been a bit chaotic so far, from wonderful chaos like one of my best childhood friends coming for an overnight visit with her two little ones, to not-so-wonderful chaos like a stomach flu bug making its tedious way through our ranks. Unfortunately it's been too chaotic to allow me time to document any of it for my lovely blog, but here are a few somewhat random thoughts currently floating through my head, which may or may not be worth mentioning!

1) My camera is dead!!! *weep* *wail* *gnash teeth* Ok. It's not actually dead. One of the invisible people who seem to roam my house at night working random bits of mayhem has stolen my camera battery charger, and hidden it in some spot that even my most diligent and desperate searching could not find it. This has resulted in a slow disintegration of my mental health and a forlorn, unfocused look in my eyes, not to mention the twitching.... It's not pretty. My new battery charger is supposed to arrive on Thursday, a good three weeks after my poor battery died. Yes, I will be hovering around my window on Thursday watching for the mailman. There's no shame.

2) Unfortunately, here's another sad bit of news: my wedding ring has sustained some damage from an unknown source at an unknown time. (Another invisible person in the middle of the night? Perhaps?) I know, I was as shocked to discover this as you are! Joking aside, it was awful to glance down at my finger and realize that my diamond is twisted on the band, and I have no idea when or how it happened. Honestly, what on earth would do that kind of damage?? I would show you a picture, but...yes, let's not revisit point #1. Anyway, it seems solid but I'm afraid to wear it until it's fixed in case the diamond should actually come off somehow -- plus it looks strange. So until I can get it repaired (which will not happen in St. Maries, my dear little town with no stoplight, so it may be a while still), my finger is disturbingly naked. And call me paranoid, but I feel like everyone's judging me when I go out in public with three small children and no wedding ring!

3) Something cute to close off the night...Bethany has this heart melting way of apologizing if she accidentally hurts someone. Her little arms steal around your neck and she presses her soft baby cheek to yours, repeating, "sorry, sorry" with great concern. It has recently come to my attention that Lamont will sometimes exaggerate an "Ow!" if she even bumps into him, just to get that sweet apology! Bad Lamont...

Also, Ashley may be a tiny bit too enthralled with the story of Moses right now; everytime we go somewhere, even to the grocery store, she wants us to stay there and wander around for 40 years!