Tuesday, April 26, 2011


This morning, as it rains, I'm grateful- so very tired, but grateful... for a multitude of miracles every day.

rain that is making our big Maple bud

Gemma's laugh in the morning- raspy and hoarse


Cheeseburgers on the grill

Windows open

The low dull sound of the wind whipping by my classroom window. It's soothing and stills my soul-

A better night last night for Gemma- still awake a lot of the night, but didn't seem to be in pain. Hopefully our change in meds will make a significant difference. Until then... I'm also grateful for the mercy of my students as this tired mama/teacher tries to engage them in exciting ways on a day when she's sleep-walking just a bit! :)

Our pediatrician who jumped right on board with my request to up Gemma's meds to deal with her reflux; who confirmed my suspicions that she was indeed experiencing worsening symptoms; and who really rallied alongside us to get a good night's sleep.

My mom, who continues to deal with Gemma's short naps- I know it's not ideal, but if I can just sleep one night all the way through, napping is next on my list to tackle.

Chai tea in the morning.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Just a few shots of G at Easter. We went to chuch and celebrated with family.

He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

With her grandma...

With her grandpa

With Grandpa Tom...

...showing how much she loves Rosie

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Last night I watched her dream...

after a long two hours of growl crying,
she laid still in my arms
laughed in her sleep
smiled with saggy eyelids.

she had been crying,
and yet...

here she was, having the sweetest
of all dreams.

the kind that makes you laugh with your eyes closed
purse your lips and flutter your eyelashes

the kind that makes this mama weep with joy over the beauty of her girl.

Last night I watched her dream... and I was swept

swept by currents of raw emotions,
ravenous tenderness
for this beautiful tiny creature
who chooses to love me.

she chooses me
daily with her smiles
she forgives my frazzled moments
love lights her face.

she is the most miraculous evidence of a holy and merciful God.

a divine love.

His thumbprint on her small frame
His voice in her breath
His love in her embrace.

We shared a pillow,
her arms tangled space
sweet, small, warm,
at peace.

Last night I watched her dream...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Check out music from Christa Wells

Ann Voskamp linked to Christa Wells' music and it's breathtaking. Please, if you are getting double music- push pause on my playlist at the bottom of the blog and press play on this widget. She's so good. What a blessing.


Nilla Wafers- I think Gemma's going to like these someday- she is like her mama!!!

Sun Hats

New carseats


Warm sun

Flip Flops

Girls Night coming up!

Work time with other teachers who share my passion for art. Great lesson ideas, great conversation, and much needed support.

A visit from an old friend- donuts and chai. Loving on my girl and good conversation.

Baby food- but maybe not bananas... could be an issue for Gemma's tummy. Today we're trying chicken and sweet potatoes!

A wonderful well-child checkup on Thursday. She's doing well, looking good, charming everyone!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I'm missing it...

Today is Gemma's 6 month birthday... and I'm missing it. I am not doing anything out of the ordinary- working all day, but somehow today seems harder. Maybe I'm sobering to the knowledge that she's growing so fast. Maybe I'm tender to the words of my mother reminding me of what a perfect baby she is- all the while knowing I can't spend the days with her. Maybe I'm just tired, sick, and spread really thin at work.

Whatever it is, I feel sad that I'm spending the day with other people's kids and not my beautiful little girl. I love what I do so I know that once the kids get here, I'll change my tune, switch into teacher mode and not look back...but now? Now, the tears are near the surface, the melancholy over the past 6 months is settling, and the urge to dig my heels in and stop this wild ride that is growing up from happening is almost overwhelming. Where has the time gone?

What I wouldn't give to spend each moment with her. I am so thankful that I am a teacher and have the summer time to lavish her with my love for longer than 20 minutes in the morning and 2 hours in the evening. I'm so thankful that I really do love my job and the kids who I serve. I am so thankful for her health and her smile and her giggle.

Just to remember...

and now...

Happy 6 month Birthday Beautiful! You are my precious little jewel.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Gratitude... in the midst of...

I have been negligent in writing my gratitude posts. I haven't meant to but it's just been something that I almost avoided. I dont' know why- i have no reason... I think I have been down in the dumps these past couple of weeks and so I have let joyful things slip. What i should do is confront despair with delight, troubles with thanks, grief with gratitude. And I will... here, today.

Gemma's sick, you see. I know it's probably not a big deal but we've been warned many times over to keep her healthy- especially from respiratory illness. Somehow, she caught my cold. I did try to keep myself from being too close to her but she's a baby and needs snuggles. She's also in that stage where she suddenly opens her mouth and tries to eat your face- with no warning... hard to avoid contact there, believe me.

in the midst of worry, or concern- which I can often table with a large dose of avoidance- I've been trying to give thanks. When worry seems to rise up in my belly, I have been audibly giving thanks. Ann Voskamp said that you can only feel one thing at a time and she chooses to feel grateful- fight feeling with feeling. I am choosing gratitude also. Amidst what feels like chaos, amidst what feels frightening, amidst what feels so far beyond my control, I will be grateful; I am grateful.

I have been particularly sensitive this year to the weather- the gray days stretch out in a seeming abyss of gloom and there seems to be no end to the snow. I love Minnesota and the winters and all the beauty that is snowfall and icicles and mittens and hot chocolate but this winter seems to have wrapped it's cold fingers around my spirit. To say it's been difficult is accurate- trudging through each day, feeling really rotten, pretty defeated, worried about Gemma, anxious about her future, knowing that she has not been healed yet... it has taken it's toll. Daylight savings came and with it, the extra sun and with it... a small seed of Spring in my heart. Maybe it's because I had a baby at the beginning of winter and my hormones were crazy and my emotions were naturally depressed for awhile but there is such hope in the promise of this Spring... The end of flu season, the ability to be outside, the freedom to go places with my girl and not feel selfish or guilty for choosing an experience at the risk of her health.

I long for the quiet spontaneity of summer- the days that blend into one another with sunshine and beaches, sand and grass, dirty baby feet and sun hats. It's not that I don't love the winter but I am ready for new birth, new life, new warmth, Spring.

So, why haven't I documented gratitude these past few weeks? I think I've been a bit depressed and haven't had the motivation to be posting creative and reflective essays. I was and still am... tired. Up at night with a sick baby, up at night myself not feeling well, Abe not feeling well. Just tiring.

But in the spirit of Spring, I choose this new hope. This new gratitude. This new life.

So, in no particular order... #110-120

Gemma eating solids... we tried peas (gagging, turning of head and blowing them back out of her mouth at us ensued.) Then we tried squash (so far so good... she's gotten most of it into her mouth and actually opens it to eat- also, so far, no gagging!) She's so cute when she eats- she sticks her arms straight out from her sides and leans forward with her mouth open like a little bird. Cracks me up... so cute!

Our doctor listened to Gemma's lungs and said they sounded gorgeous- clear and fine. She thinks that this cold will be a non-event. Let's hope! I am so thankful for good medical care- people who love my girl and want the best for her medically.

For sunshine- later in the day, every day, the sun sets. With each extra minute of sunshine, my sprit lifts and Spring gets closer.

For black beans and rice- a delicious meal with fresh cilantro and lime! Yum!

Movie dates with Abe- after Gemma falls asleep, we sit together on the couch and alternate between watching movies and dozing off. It's a nice quiet way to end the day.

For apple-cinnamon muffins- I really want to find the Jiffy ones that my mom used to make when I was little but can't find them anywhere! Any suggestions?

For infant tylenol. Gemma seems to respond really well to it and it gives her much needed uninterrupted sleep while she's sick.

For friends who reassure me that I am doing a good job- that I am a good mama- that I just need to relax and enjoy my girl! For their willingness to give me sound medical advice and patience while I ask ridiculous questions. Kelly, you are the best!

For the promise of togetherness. Though i may feel alone or lonely, the presence of God never leaves my side. He is in all and around me at all times. The only times I feel alone, I may have stepped away- His constancy is like a warm quilt of security.

For the smell of spring and the Moby wrap, too. We took a short walk with Gemma in the Moby- oh, how I LOVE to snuggle her like that and hold Abe's hand at the same time. What a gift!

I am living in the resurrection promise of Spring- new life, new hope, Spring cleaning, forgiveness, new motivation, togetherness in God's great creation!

Seeing the Spring light,

Photos of G eating coming soon!