Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Love Languages

So Cole's off to Science Camp, Dave's back to Montana, and I'm back to lovin' on my blog. We had a lovely weekend. Great to have some quality time with Dave, marked by a rather intense
heart-to-heart* on Sunday. Amazing the clarity that comes from spending two weeks apart, and apparently, there were some things we needed to iron out.

In a nutshell, we need to remember to speak each other's love languages. Have you read that book? The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman? I just picked me up a copy yesterday (even though I was familiar with the basic concepts). Now, when I say "we" I mean me. Apparently, even though I feel like I'm screaming from the mountain tops how much I love and adore my husband, to him I may as well be saying, "Wah wah wah wah wah wah." I simply have not been speaking his love language. And we've been here before. And he's taught me his language before. But, gradually, over time I slip back into speaking my native tongue, and he feels neglected and unloved. This is always devastating and shocking news to me, because anyone who knows me, even a little bit, knows that I love my husband more than anything on God's Green Earth. I'm surprised that I can even share this on my blog, 'cause here's the deal. I'm not a perfect mom. Yeah, yeah, yeah...who is?, you say. But I really thought that I would be and it comes as a bit of a shock to me that I'm not. I make mistakes everyday in my mothering career, but I honestly thought (and took comfort in knowing) that at least I'm a kick ass wife (Am I allowed to use mild profanity on my blog? They say it in Shrek, you know...).

So, to hear, from the perfect mouth of the person I love the most, that he doesn't feel loved...well, let's just say the words "BIG, FAT, FAILURE" come to mind, which, on Sunday, was almost more than I could bear. Now, please do not feel sorry for me. I have an excellent marriage, and this type of break down and the subsequent growth that spurs from it, is what makes it so. Besides, as they say, making up is always fun.

In summary, I know Dave knows that I love him more than anything. And I know that I'm a kick ass wife. But, I also know that my native love language is often lost on him. Therefore, I am very excited to hone my language skills so that I can more fully express my love for my husband in a way that he can understand. Amen.

I hope I haven't bared my soul too egregiously for anyone. But lately, I'm all about being honest. Painfully honest. What other option is there, really?

*I call it a heart-to-heart because in the end I like to think we grew from it. (Plus I'm a cup half full kinda girl). However, I do recognize that most people would simply call it a lovers' quarrel (and even that's being mild).

**Sweetie, I hope you don't mind that I shared so many gory details of our weekend, but I know that you're all about being honest, too.

P.S. I love you. hee hee

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sight for Sore Eyes

Soli and I picked up Dave from the airport shuttle on Friday at noon, and boy was he a sight for sore eyes! Unshaven and smelling of heart was all aflutter.

Soli was as smitten as me. "I missed you, Daddy."

And we could hardly wipe the smiles from our faces.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mom of the Year

My sister forwarded me an email the other day reminding all of us to appreciate every single day we have with our kids. You know the ones: "Forget house, play with kids". And being that it was the first day of fall, this email inspired me to make an attempt for the "Mom of the Year" award. I thought to myself, "Today, I am going to grab the kids out of school early, put on a darling orange vintage apron (inspired by Nie) and bake cookies with my kiddos." (confession: This idea was born when I found, in the very top cabinet of my kitchen, a bag of those little candy corn pumpkins....from last year! Shhh - they'll never know and anyway, I'm pretty sure the shelf life on those puppies is like a hundred years.)

So after lunch I headed to school to fetch my kids. I stopped at the office to sign them out. When I got to the "reason" section of the sign out sheet, I paused. I glanced at the what the other moms had written, "dentist, dr's apt, sick". I thought to use one of those but then thought better of it and wrote. "Cookies!" I left the office feeling rather proud of myself, and I wondered if I'd be hearing from the principle later. Bring it on baby.

For some reason it took 45 long minutes to gather up my kids (and their jackets, and lunch boxes, and homework, etc.). So by the time we got home we were only an hour early. Oh well, an hour, I thought to myself, that'll do to make cookies. I had no sooner turned on the oven to preheat and donned my darling vintage apron than the phone rang. It was Dave, and he needed my approval on a change in the tile design for the shower at the cabin. I was confused by the change and wasn't ready to part with the original idea (which apparently I had grown rather attached to). Long story short, 45 minutes, some less-than-nice words, and several tears (What can I say? I was hormonal) later we agreed that the change was unavoidable and I reluctantly gave it my blessing. And at what cost? My cookie window was just about closed and my husband was totally irritated with me. The kids had long since tired of asking when we were making cookies and, seeing that mom was not in her "happy" place, had wondered off to safer corners of the house. So much for "Mom of the Year" (not to mention "Wife of the Year"). With tears dripping onto my vintage apron, I hardly felt like June Cleaver. I certainly did not feel like making cookies. But I had promised. So I blew my nose, sent a quick note of apology to my husband and called the kids down to bake cookies. We had fun, and the cookies turned out pretty darn cute.

"Mom of the Year"? Not really. Maybe just "Mom in the Moment".

P.S. I should've just told Dave right when he called that I trusted his judgement and would love whatever he decided to do with the tile. And that's the truth. Thanks for the great advice, Mom.

The Cabin

Tina asked me to post some pictures of the cabin, so here you go. Dave's coming home Friday and flying back to Montana on Tuesday. Funny to have him come home for a "visit". But, hey, I'll take it! Cole leaves for Science Camp on Monday and then the house will be very quiet. Oh my.

My very favorite time of year in Montana is the fall. See the yellow grove of Aspens on the hill in the background? Those are my favorite.

Granite went in yesterday. Check mark!!

Reclaimed barn wood on the floors downstairs.

*Available to rent starting summer 2009!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

To Do

...Before Dave gets home on Friday at noon (yippee)!

*Pick up the hood/vent for the cabin-----check


*Tidy the front porch (turns out that side walk chalk mixed with water makes an ooey gooey finger paint perfect for "painting" the house and front porch)-----check

*Clean the house-----tomorrow

*Try to get blue crayon off side of house -----suggestions anyone?

*Help boys organize closet (In other words - do it yourself and spare the headache.)

*Sort Soli's clothes and integrate bag of hand-me-downs received today (thank you Mrs. Fisher).

*Mow the lawn-----now that may be pushing it.

*Hire neighborhood boy (perhaps son) to mow the lawn-----that's better.

*Organize playroom-----yeah right. Who are we kidding? Sorry, Sweetie.

*Shave legs-----indeed.

blue crayon - at least they're working on their arithmetic.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Top Ten Things...

...that I love, love, love about my small house.

Number 10: The way the walls curve into the ceiling.

Number 9: It's age. 100 years old this year!! Built in 1908. Imagine the births and the deaths that these walls have witnessed. Fantastic.

Number 8: The original wood floors. Covered and preserved by carpet for the last 30?, 50?, 70? years. Then uncovered and brought back to life by us (as in, Dave).

Number 7: The original buffet and china cabinets in the dining room and the original cabinets in the kitchen (so very glad we didn't let anyone talk us into tearing out those fabulous cabinets when we remodeled our kitchen.

Number 6: The size. It's a small house (comparatively speaking, of course) - 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and only about 1550 square feet. But, I have to say it feels very perfect to me. The boys share a room and the girls share a room which I think is really wonderful for kiddos. Some of my best memories are from sharing a room with my sister. And even after we had our own rooms we would often end up sleeping in one of our rooms or the other (this went on well into high school).

Number 5: There is only one clean. Silver lining, people, silver lining. Yes, there are certainly times when I have to pass out numbers to use the pooper or send someone to pee in the backyard. But, truthfully, I love the exchange of information that happens in the bathroom. I pretty much know what's going on with everyones' poop and who has hair growing where. There is absolutely no privacy and therefore there are almost no inhibitions. Which I love - usually. My kids are none-too-shy to bend over, hands touching floor, to show me "this", "that", or "the other thing". And they've learned a lot about LIFE in the bathroom. ie; the difference between pads and tampons. And this is an important distinction because I figure someday my girls will be women and my boys will marry women (who will surely send them on a night run to Vons for a package of one or other. God help them if they bring back the wrong kind). As I see it, I'd really be an irresponsible mother if I didn't teach them the basic difference between the two. Just the other day Emerson asked me, in the bathroom, of course, "Mom, do they make pads to fit underwear or underwear to fit pads?" Anyone?

Number 4: The playroom. A few years ago Dave remodeled our attic into a 480 square foot playroom. That is where the majority of the toys are, and, often times, where the majority of my kids are. Ahhhh. Breathing room. (Did I say 1550 sq. ft. was perfect...well, I guess 2000 is a little more perfect).

Number 3: The avocado tree. And here's the story:

Once upon a time there was a tiny avocado sapling. One day a darling couple spied this avocado baby at the nursery. They instantly fell in love with the little green eyed youngster. So they took it home to their new (old) house and planted it with the utmost love and care in the perfect spot in the backyard. The sapling looked healthy and happy for a few days. But then, one day, a leaf fell. And then another, and another until all of its beautiful green leaves lay on the ground amongst the dog poop. The darling couple was very, very sad that their herbaceous baby hadn't made it. They were so sad that they couldn't bring themselves to yank it from its roots and cast it aside in the compost pile*. So they let it be, naked and alone, in the back yard with the dog poop all winter long. And then in the Spring, a miracle happened. A small green leaf sprung from a naked branch, and then another, and another. Until the youngster was once again covered in a healthy green coat. And the darling couple cried happy tears. It would be OK. And it would grow to be very tall and very handsome. And it would bear the most delectable fruit that the darling couple (or their neighbors) had ever sampled. The end.

Number 2: Our delightful neighbors. What a difference a good neighbor makes...

Number 1: Location, location, location! Across the street from the park and 'round the corner from the school. Our little, hundred year old house sits along side 5 square blocks of other fabulous, historic homes of the same age. Our little town was an original company town started by Claus Spreckels, as in, Spreckels Sugar. The sugar factory was a primary producer in its day, and the buildings are still in tact (although no longer used to process sugar). We have about 375 people, a post office, a park, an elementary school, a volunteer fire company, the coolest old fire house, and a hundred year old corner store (I'm pretty sure some of the candy bars are that old, too). We just love it, and we feel very lucky to be able to raise our kids (and our avocados) in such a charming little town.

Thanks for checking in! ~Heather

*We don't actually compost. Just sounded good in the story...

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Love Note for Me

Waiting in my inbox this morning:

Everything I am doing up here reminds me of us and how perfect we are as a couple. Mostly I think about the future, when the kids are older and the house is quiet. I think about being able to spend time together just the two of us here. I feel like this cabin is our 5th child. It is a part of us, only this time I am the one going through "labor". In my own way I am building memories that we have not had yet. Every piece of siding and every floorboard that goes in gets me one step closer to getting back to you and starting to enjoy those memories. I am sorry that I am away from you. I miss your smile and your touch. I miss your company and your support.
Please give the kids each one extra back scratch for me tonight and tell them that it is from Dad, I will make it up to you when I get home...

I miss you...

My sweet love,

It's very late and I can't sleep. Our bed feels very big and empty without you. I keep the pillows piled up on your side so it seems like you're there. Then when one of the kids comes in to cuddle on my side, I'm squished in the middle like always.

Thanks for all your hard work on the cabin. It's coming along beautifully. I can't wait to fall asleep in your arms listening to the river.

I hope you'll be able to come home on Friday. We miss you too much on the weekends.

A few of the things I miss the most:

*your smell
*the sound of your footsteps on the wood floor
*your help with the kids at bedtime
*your warm skin
*listening to you work
*watching Grey's Anatomy

I love you with all that I am. Every cell of my body, every beat of my heart, and every sparkle of my soul.

Come home to me, my love.


Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

We are home safe and sound and we had a blast at Disneyland!


*My sister, Hannah, was able to trade her shift and come with us.

*Emerson was tall enough to drive his own car.

*Evie decided that this was her year to try Space Mountain - loved it!

*Soli's favorite was the rocket ships where Sissy took us flying way up high!

*Cole used his $10 Disney Dollars to buy a bracelet for a special someone instead of buying a souvenir for himself. Are we ready for that? (This is confidential Mrs. Fisher!)

*We ran into Mickey and Minnie (in their Year of a Million Dreams costumes) and got to snap a picture with them.

*I got to visit on the phone for twenty, uninterrupted minutes with my darling husband while waiting for the kids to ride Splash Mountain.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dave's out of town and....

....we're goin' to Disneyland!! Dave has been in Montana for the last week working on the cabin and won't be home until next weekend. So I'm gonna grab the kiddos after school today and hit the road. We'll stay with my baby sister in SoCal and hit the Magic Kingdom tomorrow. Anyone wanna come with?

Single parenting certainly has its challenges (see below plea). But I think our time in Guatemala (the kids and I spent two months there at the end of Soli's adoption) makes it easier for all of us to be without Daddy now and then (although the other night I certainly thought I would tear my hair out!).

P.S. Don't feel sorry for Dave that he'll miss out on all the fun. He goes to Disneyland because he loves me, otherwise he'd pretty much rather not.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Bedtime Plea

Dear Earth Mother, Blessed Mother of all Mothers,

Please let me find the patience to make it through bedtime tonight without hollering at my kids.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Uh-oh, Be!

My little Miss Soli Mae (her actual name is Soleil Mia Damaris, but just for fun I call her Soli Mae which often confuses the in-laws ;). Anywho, she is 2y 4m old and she has very few words (at least very few that are discernible to the untrained ear). As my fourth, this concerns me not at all. In fact, I'm pretty excited that she isn't yet chewing my ear off all day long. I know the day will come, all too soon, when she is adding to the noise pollution coming from the back seat.* (See disclaimer below). Until then, I'm just fine with a little less talking already. If you know what I mean...

So this morning Soli was thumbing through one of her favorite toys - a little chewable picture album that says "Who Loves Baby" (see above pic). I made it for her (made - as in put pictures in) when she was five months old and living with her foster family in Guatemala City. I wanted her to "have pictures of us" so she would "know who we were". Lovely thought but somewhat ridiculous because at five months old all she cared about was chewing on the handle. But now, two years later, it's one of her favorites. Anyway, as she was looking through the pictures, naming all the people that she saw, she came across one of Cole, Emerson and Evie. And she said, "Bubba, Am, E. Uh-oh, Be!" For those of you who don't speak Monkey** this translates to, "Cole, Emerson, Eve. Uh-oh Me!" She wasn't in the picture! Of course, when I made the book I didn't have any pics of the four of them. I just loved witnessing that moment of recognition as she realized that she should have been included in that group. I loved seeing proof that she knows that she belongs to us. I hope that she always feels that way.

Here are a few more of my favorite Soli-isms (for fear that I will forget if I don't document them somewhere):

Aye: Agua (if you pronounce the g as a y and smear the two syllables together)

Be: Me

Aye Be!: Either - I'm wet! (agua me) or I'm thirsty! (and want some water!) *This is one of our family favorites and has morphed into meaning: Oh My! We say it all the time. Aye Be! and then Soli always answers from somewhere in the house "Aye, be!"

Me E! (or Am, or Bubba): I miss Evie! (or Emerson, or Cole) This is a new one since school started, of course.

Aboo: All done.

Mama, aboo be!: Mom, I'm all done!

Buhh!(As in burrr!): Something is cold!

Buhh be!: I'm cold! She tells me this every morning between taking her jammies off and getting her dressed.

Buhh aye!: The water is cold!

Buhh ice!: She pronounces ice perfectly clear and it is her new favorite obsession. Several times a day she tracks me down and says, "Mama, be ice, meeeee?" This means, "Mom, may I have some ice, pleeease?" I always give a cube and send her outside. On the way she always says, "Buhh ice, be!" You can do it.

Ank, Mom (pronounced with a "soft" k - I think this may be a sound in the Russian language but it really doesn't show up much in the English language - or Spanish for that matter.): Thanks, Mom

Day, Mom. - Okay, Mom.

Ef, Mom: Yes, Mom. (At least someone listens...and doesn't talk back...yet.)

Am, no mo' be!: Emerson, stop doing that to me! (This one could conceivably be understood by the outside world - she makes herself pretty clear, which I'm glad to see.)

Nana: Could mean either banana, manzana, or naranja - must use context clues (or just hold up each one from the fruit basket until she says, "Ef" and nods her approval). I speak to Soli about 50% of the time in Spanish.

Ehhck: Something is yucky.

Ehhck nana!: This banana (or apple or orange) is disgusting or it has a bruise.

Mama, Bubba ehhck!: Mom, Cole farted and it stinks! (and then she chuckles...)

Mama, ehhck be!: Mom, I farted and it stinks! (She says this while shaking her head and pinching her nose. Then she chuckles. -- I can't imagine where she learns such nonsense! Hmmm....)

*And here is one of her longer sentences. She said this to me just this morning, "Mama, mo' beebee aye, meeeee?" Translated: "Mom, can I give my baby another bath, pleeeease?

*Animals - Soli pretty much calls all animals by the sounds they make. ie;
Oof: Dog
Neow: Cat
Pee-peep: (imagine this with a squeaky high pitched voice): bird
bubble sound using tongue and lips: fish

She all but refuses to say the animal names even though I know they are sounds she can make. For example, "Say d-d-dog". Soli: "d-d-oof". Makes me chuckle every time. The other day we were driving past cows and I said, "Look Soli! Cows! Can you say c-c-cow?" From the backseat: "D-d-dow". Wonderful! I'll take it. Then, "A cow says moooo. Tell Mama, what does a cow say?" Soli: "Dooowf". Well, something like that, girl. Love it. Stinkin' funny.

She exclusively signs for milk and more (although, now she says mo', too). She doesn't have a word for potty, although she's been potty trained since she was 19 months. When she has to go she gets my attention and does the "potty dance" (you can imagine this one...on tipstoes, prancing about, saying, " uh, uh, uh". And I say (trying to encourage her to use her words), "Do you have to go potty?" Soli: "No, poo."


*Disclaimer: I am aware that many a gem does spew forth from the mouths of babes in the back seat (many of which I later inscribe in some journal or another - Thanks, Mom, for that nugget of advice). However, there does come a time when I must have SILENCIO. That's when I throw on a movie and send a mental note of thanks to the brilliant master mind behind the in-car-entertainment-system (with headphones!).

**Ever seen "A Series of Unfortunate Events"? Creepy weird movie, but you can always count on Jim Carey for some great one liners.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stephanie's Surgery

Just a very quick post to ask you all to keep my fellow blogger, Stephanie, in your hearts today (see below post). She is scheduled for a skin grafting surgery, and, apparently, this is critical point in her recovery. I'm only slightly embarrassed to admit that I have become completely obsessed with this amazing family. Stephanie is quite possibly the neatest person I have ever not met. And her sister, also a fellow blogger, is an amazing writer and is keeping us all updated, via her blog, on Stephanie and Christian's progress.

On some personal level I can't help but feel rather desperate for this darling couple to get better. I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that they, too, have four kids (some of which were born at home like ours - at least the ones we made ourselves) and are just starting out in life. Not to mention that they are just so darling and so obviously in love, and I can relate to that. But, as her sister points out, they are OK. Things are as they should be. Indeed. But I still wish for them to get they can hug their kids again.

Please keep them in your hearts,

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Re-Post: My Adoption Pregnancy

I am reposting this entry for three of my blogger friends: Shana, who just gave birth to her third child after adopting her first two from China and Guatemala respectively; Tina, who has five biological kids and adopted her youngest from Guatemala (we fostered our babies in Antigua together) and she just started a blog of her own (I'm so excited); and for my new friend, Erin, who is in the throws of adopting a darling baby girl from China and has five biological kids, too.

It is amazing to me how many parallels there are between my pregnancies and this adoption process. I feel like the first trimester of this "pregnancy" was filled with tedious paperchasing and only a very vague sense of "baby" at the end of the seemingly endless road ahead. Not unlike the first trimesters of more physical pregnancies which are often marked (at least for me) by the seemingly endless nausea and vomiting and still only a very vague sense of "baby". But there is no proof of this fluttering, no hiccups, no belly to speak of. Until suddenly you wake up one day and the nausea and the paperwork are done. Your dossier is on it's way and the vomiting has ceased. It's the second trimester! And suddenly there is proof of a baby! A picture on your computer screen...a referral! And there are fluttery little kicks, and tiny little hiccups, and a tiny little belly. There WILL be a baby after all. The second trimester is a time of excitement and anticipation. Milestones are being reached...DNA, Family Court, Pre Approval, AFP, Hemoglobin and Ultrasound. You're feeling good and healthy and strong. You can endure. Names are being discussed and decided upon. And the baby's pictures arrive and the medical update says she gained 2 perfect pounds since last month. And the midwife says your belly has grown 4 perfect centimeters since last month. Amazing! And then the third trimester begins. Your belly is feeling rather huge and the PGN wait seems rather long. How can I possibly make it to the end? You think you'll never make it! Swollen feet, heartburn, achy back, can't sleep and the agency calls....another Previo. This can't go on! But then one day you wake up with're out of PGN! You thought this day would never come! You can't believe it's almost over! There's so much to do! Call the midwife, defrost the soup, book the hotel, call the relatives, update the blog! But labor is so long and hard! Why does it take so long to get pink?! Finally the midwife says, "It's time to push: soon you'll be holding your baby". And the agency calls, "Your pink slip has been issued: soon you'll be holding your baby". Thank God! It's almost over. And then suddenly your baby is in your arms and all the paperwork, vomiting, certifying, varicose veins, and the endless waiting, waiting, waiting are distant memories...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Birthday Catch Up - Continued

When I was doing my birthday catch up post below I could not find pics of Emerson's 8th birthday in June. They have since been located on Dave's computer, and, in the spirit of fairness, I want to make sure that my darling middle child is well represented. (Officially, I have two middle children, but since Evie is my first girl she is hardly plagued with many of the typical middle children issues ie; birthday pictures being misplaced.) So, we took the kids and about 7 or 8 of Emerson's best pals on a birthday "Camp-Over". We packed up the motorhome (and a tent for the boys) and spent the night at Lake San Antonio. The kids had a blast, and I was pleasantly surprised by how low maintenance the whole thing was. We camped right on the water and as soon as Dave stopped the Combi (anyone watch The Wild Thornberrys?) the kids were out the door and into the lake (after sunscreen, of course). We had cake right on the water's edge, passing out pieces to wet, pruney fingers - no need for plates or utensils! Watermelon slices and bean burritos for dinner -- Emerson's favorite. We had extended an invitation to the boys' families to join in the fun, and several dads took us up on it, bringing their own tents and fish tacos for the parents -- Mahi Mahi with mango salsa -- YUM! The kids, natural pyros at this age, were stoked to help Dave make the fire, where they subsequently roasted marshmallows (clearly more interested in the pyrotechnics of burning marshmallows than making s'mores). We smooshed them into our 5 man tent (minus one pole - what a difference a pole makes!) and they slept SOUNDLY until....DAWN, when they immediately made hey back to the water! Fruity Pebbles for breakfast, a MAD water balloon fight, turkey and cheese on Ciabatta rolls for lunch (another Emerson fave), and then it was back into the Combi for the trek home. A GREAT birthday party for a group of energy filled eight year olds. Here are some pics of our time:

How many kids can fit at the dinnette?

Presents under the canopy.

"You don't need a fork...just eat it with your fingers!"

Will they ever sleep? We were worried, but after a full day of fun in the sun they were plum tuckered!"

Water balloon detail....Indeed.

"Roasting" marshmallows.

Our birthday boy. Happy birthday, Em!! We love you so much! ~M

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11, 2001

I'll never forget that day...

I was in the shower when Dave came into the bathroom.

D: "One of the Twin Towers was hit by an airplane."

Me: "Oh my God! Accidently?"

D: "No. They think it was a terrorist attack."

Me: "Oh my God..."

I sank to the floor of the shower and felt like throwing up. My boys were 4 and 1, and my first cognitive thought was, "What kind of world have I brought them into? This can't be happening."

As we all know it got a lot worse from there.

So many details from that day are forever etched in my memory like playing hookie from preschool because I just couldn't tear my eyes away from the T.V. I remember crying on the couch as I watched in horror as the first tower fell and then balling in disbelief as the second one came down. I'll never forget how eerily empty the streets were when I finally did have to leave the house at lunchtime. I remember in the afternoon I finally forced myself to turn off the T.V. and take the boys to the park (having shielded them from the horror of it all day). I remember shedding some tears as I chatted with my neighbor over the back fence about how we were all holding up. I remember thinking that this was how my grandmother must have felt as a young mother when Pearl Harbor was attacked. I remember feeling surprisingly reassured when President Bush addressed the country (wasn't a big Bush fan, less of a fan now).

A year later Dave and I took the boys to New York City and we visited Ground Zero. There were scuff marks on the neighboring buildings from the debri that was kicked up when the Towers collapsed. There were thousands of missing people posters still covering the fence around the church across the street. We were both so emotional as we walked around looking at each of the faces and reading the pleas of the surviving families and loved ones. So unbelievably sad. Fresh flowers and memoribilia had been laid around the fence to commemorate the passing of a year.

And here we are seven years later.

My heart is full today for all the families who lost loved ones on that horrific day.

To the resilience and strength of our country,

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Stephanie and Christian

If you haven't already heard, this darling couple was in a private plane crash in August. The instructor was killed and Stephanie and Christian were terribly burned. They are still in critical condition in Arizona. They have four beautiful children and she is a fellow blogger. You can follow their recovery and donate to a fund that has been designed to help pay their medical bills and household expenses here (for those of you non-bloggers "Hi, Mom", you can click on the word "here" above and it's a direct link).

And here is a link to Stephanie's blog which is being maintained by her fairy-god-blogger during her recovery.

Take a minute to check out the above links and please keep this family in your hearts.

Here's to appreciating every peanut-butter-and-jelly-filled day,

P.S. I bloglifted the above picture. Is that even legal?