Monthly Archives: November 2009

Enjoying the scenery, with sniffles

Yesterday was the first day in… days… we could get outside and enjoy the fresh air. The kids were bouncing off the walls, Fynn was begging to go outside. We promised several times.

And then someone woke up with a sore throat. And that someone got sicker with every minute. But he still came out with us for our hike, because fresh air does a body good (and unless you have a fever, in this house, you go outside when you can. Now, when I’m the one who’s sick I like to stay in bed and have soup and cocoa brought to me while I hide with books and movies… but I appreciate a push to get fresh air because it helps. Really. Remind me in another day that I said that)

We like this specific walk because we see the commuter rail, even on Sundays. Fynn loves seeing just the train tracks, so you can imagine his delight when we actually see trains (forgive me if I’ve said that before about this hike… my brain… not so good…)

On said walk, we pass by a farm, and they are already getting into the spirit of Christmas. The small touches bring such joy to my heart. Nothing is prettier than red berries nestled in with greens.

Festive, merry, full of spirit.

And those festive thoughts will help to get us through the next few days. Because as of about 5pm yesterday afternoon, we all have sore throats and sniffles… heads that are clouded over in nothingness. All of us seem a little zomby’ish, even the ones with normally endless amounts of energy.

Though you would never have guessed that we were all coming down with stinky colds during our walk. It was a beautiful day, even when the day ends with stuffy heads, days full of fresh air are always close to perfect.

 

***Special note… today marks the last day of November, which means the last day of NaBloPoMo! I made it… and am proud to say that I posted {at least} once a day for 30 days. While I can’t say I was ever at a loss for inspiration, there were days when posting on here wasn’t on the top of my fun things to do list. It was a great exercise to keep the words flowing, even on days where I just didn’t feel it.  Congrats to all who participated, the month is over! 🙂

*****Other note. I wrote this post last night, for today. And now, we are definitely all sick. Snot flying, laying on the floor doing nothing kind of sick. Blah. And really, I don’t know why I feel like I need to share that. Expect to inform you to keep your expectations for this blog low for the week….

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Common thread

In a wildly sentimental moment today I started looking through old posts at our original blog, The Story of Fynn & Paige. I started at the beginning, with the funny stories of our day to day life with just Fynn. I smiled, got a little teary, and remembered all that I haven’t thought about in months, if not years.

As I looked at Fynn’s baby pictures I saw him. But I also saw Paige. It’s one of the funny things about having multiple children, seeing them in each other. They are their own individuals, without a doubt, but there is a common thread. In photos they share the same glorious kissable baby cheeks, and they have the same face when they are captured laughing uncontrollably. And the mischievous smile… that’s the same.

And then there’s parts of Fynn that are entirely his own. Like his gaze. And his pout. Those are just Fynn.

Paige has looks her very own, Fynn was never quite as strong willed and full with… we’ll call it passion. She also has her own gaze. With eyes more like her father’s, a subtle hazel that changes with the light, where Fynn (and mine) are unquestionably blue.

But they sleep the same way. With those cheeks calling out to be touched and kissed even when you know you could risk waking them. But you have to. Ask my mom, she’s almost woken both my kids up for the same reason I do it myself. Those cheeks!!

Sometimes I need to be reminded to look past their common thread, but I hold onto it because as time goes by the thread gets tighter and thinner. It runs taught between the two of them. It might take longer to find it, as their own personalities are growing larger than life, but it will always remain.

Fynn

Paige

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Friday night

This is what our Friday night look like

two glasses of red, chips straight out of the bag {they taste better that way…}, salsa and a paused movie because the baby woke up

and the movie {Be Kind Rewind, for those wondering} has been paused about a dozen times for the same reason

but these are our nights

we steal moments while we can

sipping red and eating a bit of fire

rejoicing in the quiet moments while they last

they are few and far between

so we enjoy them as they come

sitting next to each other finding ourselves laughing at the same moments

reconnecting for seconds at a time

it’s love

and it’s parenthood

while they’re young we take our moments as they are given

our uninterrupted ones will come later

and while we look forward to them and all their glory

right now we wouldn’t change a thing

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Is it enough?

With the smell of turkey still lingering, my busy mind went to work on the next big thing. Christmas. I pulled out my supplies and went to work on a special present for my little girl, a tutu. Handmade with love by Santa’s number one elf {her mama}. As my hands went to work, my mind went over the lists in my head of what each child will be receiving this year, as well as other relatives. And of course, I had the “is it enough” thought.

I always get that thought.

I firmly believe that handmade gifts are the best. And although I’m not terribly crafty, in years past I’ve done my best to include handmade gifts whenever possible. But I always supplement because for whatever reason, I never think it’s enough to give something without a price tag.

Last December I read an article in Wonder Time magazine {now out of print, I believe…} about a family who made the decision to only give thoughtful gifts made with their hands and hearts. Coupon books, hand written letters to one another, small crafts, you get the idea. It struck me so deeply that all year we’ve been giving hand made gifts for birthday presents. And I had the best intentions for Christmas. I have made quilts, and those no sew fleece blankets in the past. But because of lack of energy, I settled, though I am very proud to say that most of the gifts we’ve chosen to give have been handmade, just not by me. They’re bought from small businesses that I believe in, or the proceeds of gifts go to help someone in need. We do have several projects lined up for myself and the kids, which should be fun and bring a few smiles to those opening them.

But I feel like this is just the beginning. From here on out, I am not going to ask myself if we’re giving enough to people who do not need anything. That sounds a little harsh, but it’s not meant to be. I love gifts as much as the next person, but I would much rather receive a gift from the heart that doesn’t cost a cent, than an expensive gift when I do not need anything.

The Christmas season is one of my most favorite times of the year. The spirit of it. The decorations, carols, cookies, wonder, and joy that comes with the month of December make it irresistible. I’m watching Fynn’s amazement as he notices the holiday decorations as we drive through town, and realizing that his wonder right now has nothing to do with presents. And we can foster that wonder and hopefully steer away from the commercialism that has taken over so much of the season. Back to giving, and giving to those who are actually in need.

We are a family, not unlike many others, that is not wealthy in the monetary sense. We live on a tight budget, count the days until the next paycheck at times, but we always have food on the table. We want for very little. We do not need anything, as we have so much compared to so many others. When we have a few extra dollars it goes towards those who need it more. And recently, that’s been often. Five dollars here and there can help. Or a dinner. I like to cook dinners to give to friends who need a break – in many different circumstances.

This year, I have hope that we can turn around and change for the better when it comes to the holiday season. It’s been on my mind quite a bit, and what gives me extra hope is knowing others think about it, and act, as well. Some of my favorite bloggers have come together and are working on giving to the needy, in the spirit of what Christmas is actually about. Check them out over at Christmas Change, and be inspired. I have. I’ve been moved to tears by posts, and humbled beyond  anything I could imagine.

From now on I’ll be asking myself if we’re giving enough to those in need. And if the gifts we give our family are thoughtful, meaningful, and somehow made by {our own when possible} two hands and given with our hearts. Don’t get me wrong, there will be a few store bought gifts under our tree. I can’t whip up a tricycle or the like without a little help. But you’d better believe they’ll be eco friendly options when available, if not recycled and refurbished if possible. But that’s another post altogether… about moderation, teaching gratitude, about loving what you have.

But for now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a tutu to fluff with love.

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Thankful

Today, I’m thankful for many things. Mostly though, I’m so very thankful for my family. And although I love the big picture of family, today, I’m thankful for the little things.

Like story time where everyone enjoys the same book…

…and baby girls who roar like dinosaurs…

…and possibly a little boys imagination which yields the first “Christmas lights!!!” of the season {trains hung magnetically from the cabinet pulls…}

…and hat silliness…

…you can never go wrong with hat silliness.

It’s the little things that make me smile, that keep me going, that make me thankful each and every day of the year.

Especially today.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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Needy

I snuggle Fynn in the moments before he goes to sleep. I stroke his hair. Run my hand down his cheek, my fingers trace the line in between his eyes that runs down his nose in an effort to help him close his sleepy blue eyes. He holds my hand for a few moments, then lets go, rolls over. He’s ready for sleep, ready for his space, ready to say goodnight. He’s had his fill of snuggles. I leave him to his slumber, and sulk out of the bedroom.

I always need more.

Tonight is my high school reunion. I’m not going. I thought about it, but the timing is not good – the night before Thanksgiving when we’re hosting, and now we have sick kids, and no babysitter. However, if I could take my {healthy} kids with me, I would have gone in a heartbeat.

Is that wrong?

People always want to show off their best sides at reunions. They are my best side. My best work. My everything. With them in tow I would had a built in shield from harsh conversations or off handed comments that might have occurred {though only in my head…} I have some wonderful memories from those years, and think fondly of the few good friends I had, but there are also memories that got shoved away due to painful content. For another day, another year.

There are times when I think I need the kids more than they will know. They are my protectors, my shield. When I’m out by myself, I’m not as vibrant and on the ball as when I’m out with them. With them, I want to be the mom they know, always. Relatively uninhibited, outgoing, fun. Not the shy, introvert that I’ve known and had a love hate relationship for 28 years.

They bring out the best in me.

They push me.

Egg me on to be better.

And yet they are safe.

In their absence during my alone time I wear a necklace bearing their names in hope that it reminds me of who I can be, who I’ve become. They’re with me always, in my heart and on my mind. I know I’m needy when it comes to my children, they’ve given me so much already. But it can’t be helped. It’s not that I wasn’t hugged enough as a child, or have a husband who doesn’t give me hugs. Neither one of those are even close to the truth.

When my children were born, I thought many insecurities would simply disappear. And some did. But some are here to stay. Thankfully it’s family and faith that gets us through them, makes us work at them, makes us stronger.

Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning I sneak in to the comfort of Fynn’s bed and steal a few midnight snuggles, then drift off to sleep smelling his Burt’s Bees washed hair. I breathe him in and it brings me back to earth, back from late night panic attacks and dreary thoughts. He and Paige both bring me peace.

If there’s a twenty year reunion, I will probably go. Without the kids. By that time I hope to have grown into myself a little more, with the help of two little ones. The family my husband and I created. The best parts of us.

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Remembering the reasons

The last time we moved {almost two years ago} we didn’t unpack our numerous boxes of books. Our reasoning? We cannot have bookshelves with toddlers without anchoring them to the walls. And we didn’t want to do that… because we didn’t think we’d be here that long. Oh and space, we have no space for bookshelves.

Fast forward to knowing we’ll be here for three years total.

I miss my books.

So over the weekend I went searching through hundreds of books for one or two in particular. I went through every single box, because {of course} the specific few I went looking for were in the last box, in the way back of the second thoroughly disected closet, under about six other boxes. In the process, I found about a dozen others that just had to be brought out. Some were mine, but most were my husbands. You see, between my Political Science degree with an English minor, and his English major, we have quite the collection.

Through a closet and two rooms  I called out “Hey, how was Gandhi’s autobiography?”, “did you know you had so many of Kerouac’s books?” and I might have muttered something along the lines of “how many works of Shakespeare can two people possibly own?” They all took me back.

All of those books played an instrumental role in the story of Corinne & Lucas. The first time I saw his apartment I was in love. It was perfect. It was located on a gorgeous street in a historical old New England town. He resided on the top floor of a renovated house, centuries old, with angled ceilings and tiny windows. A view of the street, without the noise, where you could see the snow on the town common accompanied by dog walkers and couples taking a brisk February stroll. But while it had all the staples of a bachelor pad {you know… dvd’s, video games, bare fridge, the just cleaned for a date smell…} it also had books. Rows and rows of books.

And I love books.

We sat and talked about different titles. I stole several minutes staring at the antique works and finely bound collections. The man had books. And he actually read them. He showed me albums of places that he’d been, told me stories of traveling through Europe alone, he came to life as he exposed his love of road trips, nature, and art. It wasn’t one of those first date shows, there was something so sincere and passionate about all that he had done, and all that he wanted to do.

I loved him.

And over the weekend as I got my answers to the questions I called out, “It’s good if you want to know what Gandhi ate” and “yes, I know” and even “did you say something?” I felt this warm fuzzy feeling that you get when you remember a forgotten reason. I smiled to myself several times looking through our collection. At points you could tell which one came from where, a definite his and hers; but the more years we’re together the more the divide dwindles.

I miss our books.

And I still love him.

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Please visit Emily at Chatting at the Sky for more Tuesday’s Unwrapped. You’ll find simple moments and simple mysteries unwrapped in everyday life. Enjoy!

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