Coming Together

Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing. 
– Jim Rohn

Peas 2 

Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter. 
– Brad Henry

 The Right Tools

The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduced yourself to, had life not done it for you. 
– Kendall Hailey

Gretchen and Kegan

Has it really been almost six years?  I remember how my nerves made my stomach dance as I met everyone for the first time, knowing that in a few short months this would be my family.  I remember being prepared in advance to be called the wrong name.  I was.  I remember that instead of feeling uncomfortable, I felt calm and relaxed because this was a family just like mine. 

Now, my own children are introduced to aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Pictures are taken to preserve memories, despite their limitations ~ how do you capture the smell of the breakfast prepared on the campfire, the spicy-ness of the gumbo that tickles your nose, or the sounds of squeals and giggling by the many great-grandchildren bustling about? 

Again, we come together across the miles by air and by car, we have come together for a brief moment before going again our separate ways.  Wanna glimpse of our family fun?  Go ahead, take a peek!

Our Family Grows Again

OK, so I know that at least a few folks who thought this was another odd “I’m pregnant” announcement.  While I can’t deny some intentionality in my misleading, I can say that we’re NOT, I repeat, we’re NOT having another baby. 

Instead, our family circle has expanded to include our lovable little Betta named Ernie.  Calder was quite entranced by Uncle Luke and Aunt Ann’s Betta (Bert) when we visited them this summer.

A routine shopping trip last week became and resulted in the impromptu adoption of our fishy friend.  Calder loves feeding him and he helped change his water today.  The series below is when he met Ernie last week.

Entering the kitchen after nap…
Fish 1

I love this one…he’s looking back for Garth. I imagine he was thinking, “Hey, do you see this too?”
Fish 2

I can’t tell whose expression I love here more…
Fish 3

My best shot has to be the little pointy finger picture…it was then that he said, “It’s my fish?”
Fish Collage

On a slight tangent, I’m in complete denial that it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve posted anything!  I have SO MANY pictures to share, and fun things we’ve done….chances are, I’ll “backblog” a few of our fun summertime memories sometime this week!  ‘Til then, we’ll try not to do anything fun and photoworthy so I can play catch up. 

{crickets chirping}

I’m guessing that won’t happen…considering we’re headed back to da U.P. on Wednesday!!  In any case, here’s to a fun-filled and not-enough-time-to-stay-caught-up-with-tech summer!

A Few Hours On a Thursday Morning

Life has always surprised me, but I find that as a mother I’m surprised more often and my vision more acute to the subtle changes, the slight differences that amuse and delight me.  Like the day this spring when I was bustling around the kitchen trying to leave the house on time and Calder saw a packet of Equal in my hand.  “Momma, you makin’ coffee?” he asked.  A mundane task and one he watches and remembers.

Or last week when, after climbing into his booster seat indpendently and without being buckled (after all we’d just finished lunch) he sat there for a moment before announcing, “I be careful, else I crack my head!” 

And this morning, as Seneca and I greeted him by coming in to play and he bounded out of bed and asked, “You sleep good Momma?” just the way I ask him every day.  I suppose I’m painting a pretty rosy picture here, so to give myself some real credibility, the little ditty I made up that goes, “Calder Damien, Calder Damien, Calder Damien, Stop Picking Your Nose!” also gets recounted often complete with the nose-picking that originally altered the final lines of his little song in the first place!

In any case, it’s these moments, that make me realize just what an awesome privilege it is to raise these two little people.  And today, I’m sure that my own mom didn’t know that she’d provided an amazing title to a poem or short story or piece of episodic fiction that I have yet to write when, basking in the gorgeous sun of a perfect summer day she commented on the perfection of the park we visited.  “It feels like we’re up north camping,” she said, “and really it’s just been a few hours on a Thursday morning.”

I guess as children we’re always watching our parents.  I’m thankful for such amazing examples and pray that I too can provide a model I’d be proud to have emulated.

Collage 1

July 2009 279

July 2009 281

July 2009 282

July 2009 289

July 2009 291

July 2009 294

July 2009 296

July 2009 304

Momma’s Girl

Smiling Girl

The slight
caramel glow
of her
rounded shoulders,
her plump tummy
~ whispers of our
first summer ~
memories floating by
like the
soft cotton tufts
in the humid
June air.

As she takes her perch
upon my side,
instinctively her
chubby arm
wraps tightly
around mine,
anchoring her there.

The comfort I find
in that small habit
overwhelms me
more than I’m prepared for.

I know
how much my heart
longs to see her
each morning
as I quietly
approach her,
sleeping sweetly.
Butterscotch tendrils
curl haphazardly
around her
angel’s face.

A subconscious smile
dances across her
rosebud lips.
A slight dimple
the only
“imperfection”
in her creamy complexion,
glistening
with traces of a
deep summer sleep.

Gently,
I lift her to me,
bringing her home
to the crook
in my neck,
where we both
awaken
to the deliciously sweet
fragrances
of one another.

I wonder
if she treasures
these moments
as much as I do.

Then,
I feel the squeeze
of her grasp
clinging to me again,
and
I smile
knowing that
she is
her
Momma’s Girl.