Friday, November 15, 2013

Two - or 3* - years old

I was busy snapping photos today, trying to capture the essence of a 2nd (or 3rd, depending on who you ask) birthday, and tonight when I went to grab that "right one" to share, I was stuck.  I didn't get his amazing, heart-melting, grin.  I didn't capture his golden brown eyes.  I didn't seem to have the embodiment of Charlie.  Then I took another look. 

Lighting up our lives! 

Here you see a photo of Charlie on his 2nd birthday.  It couldn't be better.  He had spilling a drink in his lap at lunch time and requested the removal of his wet pants, followed by his shirt, and his socks and shoes, and of course, his diaper.  He had quickly managed to justify "naked time!"  In no less that 2 seconds he had climbed onto the table - yep.  Naked table time, I know it happens in everyone's house at lunch.  Not just that, but then naked table time turned into naked table dancing time.  Classic Charlie!  Truly the essence of Charlie.  Not the nudity so much, although it's to be expected, but the opportunity to turn any moment into party time!  Before long we were all "floor punching" (a favored dance move of his) and laughing while we belted out lyrics to silly songs.  I grabbed the camera and snapped an image.  And there you have it.  The perfect birthday photo.  

My son - a ray of sunshine - doing what he does best, lighting up the room!

*if you ask Charlie how old he is he insists that he is 3.  "Charlie are you 2 today?" "No, 3!"  

Friday, May 24, 2013

This Moment

Look what's back!!!

{this moment} A Friday tradition. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A single, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Moving on

Tonight my baby boy had his moving on ceremony from preschool.  It was so beautiful and touching, but I am still in shock that I only have 3 more times to walk up the path at Prairie Flower Children's Center.  Our whole family has benefited significantly from the education of our whole child at Prairie Flower.  I would be lying - big time - if I tried to say it is not with great sadness that we "move on" from this wonderful place. 

Miss Delphine gathering the children around for a lovely story about wisdom and who holds it (spoiler: children do)!  I love the way Jack is watching her here.  I cried (duh).

After the story the children each were given a candle by Miss Delphine, who whispered something to each one as she gave it to them.  The candle was then lite by Miss Lauren and the children were guided to walk back* across the rainbow bridge to their parents on the other side.  Jack has been talking for weeks about how excited he is to go to kindergarten and move on from Prairie Flower.  Tonight after he walked across and came to sit with us he said, "it really makes me sad to be leaving Prairie Flower."  Oh my sweet babe.

My preschoolers hands with his candle flame burning bright. 

 A decent attempt to snag a photo with his two amazing (and I mean amazing) teachers.  

 An attempt at a family shot from moving on night.  

 I love you Jack.  It's okay to be sad to say goodbye as you move on.  I know you are off to great things!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Charlie Toddles

No one will ever know the strength of my love for you.  
After all, you are [one of] the only one[s] who knows why my heart sounds like from the inside. 

Happy 18-months Charlie 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A letter to Jack

Ice Skating on Jack's 5th Birthday with schoolmate Silas

Even before you were born I was critically aware of how quickly childhood goes.  As a pregnant mama I thought ahead and decided I was going to try and never say, "you're too heavy to carry."  If my arms can carry you, they will.  I never wanted to miss a chance to cuddled or accept a hand being slipped into mine.  I never wanted to say, "you're too old."  If you want to do it (and it's safe) you're welcome to, I'll encourage you.   I didn't want to rush your childhood.  I knew this before you, my sweet Jack the Bear, were even earthside.   To honor our days together.  To cherish the ambiguous blur that is childhood.  To hold that time together in reverence.  To take slow breaths and savor these moments.

Because that's the catch about lasts.  You rarely know when they are coming.  I'll likely never know that this time (whatever time that may be) will be the last time you'll ask to be carried or say the words, "hold me mama."  I probably won't know to hold and snuggle you a little longer and a little tighter one day because it's the last time you'll crawl into my lap and ask for "mama snuggles."   I'll not have the chance to know that I need to take in an extra deep breath to remember how you smell one day.   This thought is why I chose to try to treat each of these precious moments with you like it might be the last time.

Ice Fishing - December 2012

Since you've turned 5, just a few months ago, I've been reflecting on how you are changing and growing, but not just recent changes the changes as they've come over the years (years, wow!)

  • When did I go from mama, to mommy (and sometimes HoneyMommy), to just "mom?"  
  • When was the last time you asked to be held? Or Carried?  
  • When did you first turn your head when I leaned in to kiss you?  Telling me to "just go."  
  • How often do you ask me to play with you?
  • Telling me that you can do it your own way or providing a detailed description of some fully hatched plan of yours (that is far superior to my idea) is a daily (if not hourly) occurrence these days.
  • You go outside to play in the yard without supervision (gasp). 
  • You are not my shy little man anymore - willing to chat it up with a "new friend" ANYWHERE!
  • You get jokes.  You get them and you tell them (create them).  
  • You can read (a bit) and write.  
And that's the short list. 

Despite my awareness of how fleeting my time with you "in my arms" would be it does not compare to the feeling I have today - looking back (already looking back).   How quickly you've gone from baby to toddler to boy and so-very-soon to young man.  I'm going to keep savoring and slowly breathing it all in.  For I know you'll keep growing up like the flicker of a flame.  
Still 4-years-old (taken 11.5.12)

So tonight, this moment, you're five.  Today, you spent your day working and playing our yard.  You chopped wood with your dad.  You showed me, with such delight, the buds coming up from their sleep beneath the ground.  You helped get our chicken coop set-up and moved the 6 ladies out there for their first night.  You and I went on a mama and Jack date.  You made your pan sauce tonight at dinner for our broccoli.  Then you went with daddy to get the car washed while I snuggled your brother to sleep.  When you came home you asked to have a story read by the fire and  then fell asleep on the chair - firelight flickering on your sweet face.   

I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.  My sweet Jack the Bear.  You are such a beautiful blessing.  May you know and feel this love always. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Missing Melrose

In just a few short days we'll be back home in Iowa.  However, this time home has a whole new and exciting meaning for us.  We'll be handed the keys to OUR HOUSE.  It's been such an amazing journey to home for us and although we are overwhelmed with the tasks ahead (unpacking a storage unit, a few household tasks, settling in, etc.) we are really overjoyed to take them on!

In the midst of all this joy and excitement about the new house I feel the need to pause and reflect on all that our "old" place has meant to us.  Our house on Melrose certainly was intimate, but it served us very well and we made a lot of memories there.

We moved in with an 18-month-old Jack.  That little boy went from trikes to bikes on those sidewalks.  He mastered talking (ahem) and turned 2, then 3, and finally 4 in that house.  He went to his first day of Prairie Flower from that doorstep.  Jack and his daddy hung an awesome tire swing in the front yard (for our 5th anniversary) that drew in all the neighborhood kids.  We often had indoor picnics due to our lack of table space.

And although these precious precious moments will Jack will always be treasured I will never every forget the few magical hours between November 14th and 15th in that house where we welcomed Charlie Gene (literally, right there) - my beautiful born at home baby boy.   We got to see his first smiles there and here is his giggles.  He sat up solo in the living room and ate grass from the shade of the beautiful maple tree.  Ah, the maple tree at Melrose....seriously, the most beautiful tree in town.

With all the coordinating and a bit of a rush to get out of town in a timely manner I feel we didn't take a proper moment to pause and say farewell to Melrose.  So I'll take this moment to breath it in and let it go.


Ah, now there is room for a new love.