Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's Good to be a Mom...

I've been holding this imaginary requirement over my head that I MUST post pics with every post. This self-induced prerequisite has prevented me from posting things I otherwise would have. So I'm relieving myself, here and now, of that requirement...

Today was a great day. It was beeauuutiful outside and I got some reprieve from Primary duties from the thoughtful brethren in the Elders Quorum. The youth made a touching video of short blips about why they appreciate their moms, and then we were all escorted to the gymnasium for brownie parfaits and poetry (:

Upon arriving home, my good husband made brunch and later some fabulous shish kabobs. I love fresh seasonal fare...nothing like skewered & grilled pineapple, pearl onions, grape tomatoes, mixed peppers, and cremini mushrooms to officially announce the arrival of spring and its accompanying longer days and warmer weather. It just feels right...

BUT the highlight of the day for me was this exchange between Kennedy & myself:

Kennedy: Mom you have to come see something...CLOSE your eyes
Me: okay ( walking with eyes mostly closed towards her...)
Kennedy: Okay, now open your eyes!
Me: Wow! Kennedy, you cleaned off the table!
Kennedy: (Grinning from ear to ear...BEAMING really) I did it without you even asking me to. I wanted to serve my family and follow Jesus' example
Me: (speechless and heart burning with mother pride and JOY!) Thank you Kennedy! I am so proud of you. Thank you for being my big helper! I love you...thanks for being such a good example!
Kennedy: and now I'm going to clean the floor because I'm almost a kindergartener!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

We each have our own fantasies about the perfect way to celebrate an occasion...

For most women I know, those fantasies are pretty, rose-colored affairs in an idyllic, other-worldly kind of way. I'm definitely one of those kind...I can dream up BIG dreams...most of the time they remain in that state, tucked away somewhere in my mind. However, this year Jonathan nailed it, albeit with a little help from a friendly and well-heeled boss. He surprised me by lining up a sitter (something he actually does all the time), and taking me on a little trip through the countryside to Washington...
Washington, CT., that is.

You may or may not have heard of the little inn and spa located there. You can read about it here. I certainly hadn't heard of it; apparently I don't read Vanity Fair, Travel & Leisure, or the NYT!
Upon being seated at our table, a lovely arrangement bearing a striking resemblance to my wedding bouquet was brought out as our centerpiece. Would you believe that Jonathan had the thoughtful epiphany to recreate my wedding bouquet as a gift for our anniversary??! That is exactly the kind of thing a woman dreams up...and he came up with it all by himself. I was shocked, and smitten all over again!
The evening affair started with the scrumptious salad pictured above. It was one of my favorite parts of the meal. Boston Bibb leaves with crunchy prosciutto bits...yummy!

The main course was followed by this tempting beauty, graciously offered by our dining mates across the aisle. It is a funny thing to note that of our last three anniversary celebrations, two of them were spent in very tasteful restaurants where very chatty, complete strangers, managed to dominate the conversation most of the night. This anniversary was one of those occasions...I guess the silver lining was that the chap (translate: fella) obviously felt he owed us something; either that or he felt a deep sense of camraderie after dining alongside us. In any case, he generously offered to get our desserts in honor of the occasion. Never mind that he was there to celebrate his own wife's birthday, who he managed to ignore most of the night!

Our table by the fireplace

Me, in the parlor, with the OTHER man in my life...
To round out the evening, we returned home to watch Nights in Rodanthe,
a Redbox selection. It was a fabulous evening. It felt great getting all dressed up, and going on a date, even if we DID have a chaperone (:
And this post sums up pretty well the differences b/w men and women;
Jonathan also loved his anniversary gift... a backpack style heavy duty Echo leaf blower! Good thing we both know how to make the other one happy. Here's to six wonderfully happy, event-filled years!

Three's Company

Yes, I know I'm what you might call a little inconsistent. This is officially a cry for "help!" Stress-wise I don't find three too bad, but I have discovered this is the magic number when a day planner is an absolute necessity. My time management skills are lacking...and a lot of things in my life are inconsistent right now...

Luckily, Kennedy, the little diva, is a BIG helper! She's so capable and I can already see how she is going to turn into me, a miniature mommy by age 11! She's feisty, self-assured, confident, and headstrong. I think we can agree she comes by those traits honestly...a little scary, I know, but if we can just nurture her little testimony I know she can use them for good purposes.

My mom (mother of 6) has always told me she thought 3 was the hardest adjustment. I sincerely hope she's right. We watched some of our friends' kids on Sat. so they could have a date night, and that was a breeze. They have a 6 yr. old, 3 yr. old, and 6 mo. old. The baby slept and so did the toddler (thanks to a dose of Zyrtec). The 6 yr. old was so well-mannered and played well with Kennedy and Macy. On the other hand, today I watched another friend's kids, aged 18 mos. and 3 yr. old. This was acutely different from the previous experience. Not that the kids are difficult, just that the ages are more demanding (oh, and minus the sleepiness in the toddler). In my non-scientific experience, 5 kids ages 4 and under was astronomically more demanding than 6 kids ages 6 and under (of course there is that anomaly of a sleeping toddler). I think the big doosie was the 18 mo. old. That phase is all over the place and into everything. Having two infants in the house wasn't so bad because they took long naps and neither are mobile. Where is all this going you are wondering? I'm still trying to figure that out...what my outer limitations are. What the ideal spacing is b/w kids (not that I'm contemplating another pregnancy in the near future), and when I'll hit that magical number when I know I'm done...

In the meantime I'm eternally grateful for these three who each bring something extra special into our hearts and home. Macy is my tender-hearted lover. From the moment she arrived on this earth, she has craved touch and affection. It was clear to us very early on that she would be our cuddler...

And this little face, the soft touch of his hand as he nurses, always fills me with joy. It is kind of a marvel that when he wakes me at 3 a.m. I am bleary-eyed & grumpy, yet when I pick him up and he nuzzles in for his feeding, all that melts away and a profound sense of happiness washes over me... I ask you, could you resist that dimpled face?

So, while many days I stay in m ypajamas far too long, and the dishes pile in the sink far too high, I AM learning a lot about myself and making a concerted effort to have a purpose-driven life. A recent favorite talk of mine discussed the need in each of our lives for creation and compassion. While it's not an overly ambitious goal, for now I'm striving to be a dependable friend and to create a sense of community and warmth in my own home. It's not much, but it's a start...