This is where I write about my life. Marriage, children, faith, and coming to the realization that as long as I have those three things...I am home. No matter where that is.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

4 Years

Four years ago today, I was laboring, and laboring, and laboring. We all thought that this day would be THE day. Little did we know that she would wait until just after midnight the following morning to make her grand entrance. My first baby, Sarah, will be 4 years old tomorrow.
Four years old!!!

She is funny and sassy. She is emotional and dramatic. She is a cry-er. She is a laugh-er. I've said it many times before, but she feels everything so deeply. She is going to make a big difference in the world someday. She has already made all the difference in my world.

God gave her to me right when He knew that I would need her the most. "A time to be born. A time to die." I do not believe in coincidences. I know that my little girl was born the day before my Daddy's birthday for a reason. I have often in the last 4 years questioned. Lord, why did you have to take him while I was pregnant? Why could he not have at least lived long enough to lay eyes on the granddaughter that he was so looking forward to meeting? But, I think I understand now why. It was time for him to go and time for her to come. And, I will thank God for that everyday. The only thing in this world that could alleviate some of my grief was bringing a beautiful new miracle into this world. It really was perfect timing. I will thank Him everyday for the 23 years that I had my Daddy and I will cherish every second that I have with my daughter, because it is all so fleeting.


Mommy loves you so much!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Somebody Is A Big Girl...Maybe.

We have introduced Rylee to the potty. For the last 3 days we have sat on the potty, sang the potty songs, done the dance, and all of that. For the last 3 days, she has sat there for about 10 seconds at a time, and been completely uninterested. Yesterday, I decided that she might just not be ready. She isn't quite 2 yet. Then last night, she grabbed her diaper and said, "Potty". So we gave it another shot. She tee-tee'd in the potty!! We celebrated like it was the 4th of July! We clapped and sang and danced. Then both girls got a congratulatory M&M:1 for Rylee the potty user and 1 for Sarah the cheerleader. I'm pretty sure now that I'm going to have to give Sarah an M&M every time that Rylee uses the potty. Sarah was more excited about it than any of the rest of us! Which, I'll admit, surprised me a little. I thought there might be some issues with Rylee getting that extra attention, but Sarah really impressed me with her excitement and pride over all of it.
I was SO excited!
We get up this morning, and start to take Rylee to the potty first thing. NOT HAPPENING! She has wanted nothing to do with the potty all day. Not once have I been able to get her to sit on it. Not once has she even gone into the bathroom. Today, she is perfectly content in her Huggies. I guess maybe she isn't quite ready after all. But, she's making the connection. So, hopefully it won't be too much longer.

By the way, I hate potty training. I really do. I wish it was one of those things that they could learn to do on their own like crawling and walking. But, it is part of the job. And, once successful, the results are well worth it. Although, I have to confess, it is hard for me to imagine a life without diapers.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Answering The Call

"MAMA...MAMA...MAMA...MAMAAAA..." My precious girl can't seem to sleep tonight, and neither can I. I was lying in bed sending up prayers for my closest and dearest friend of more than a decade when I heard that sweet little (and not so little at the same time) voice calling my name. I walk into her room, she reaches up, I take her in my arms, and she buries her face in my neck saying "Hey, Mama." As I sat in the rocker with my 21-month-old and tried to quietly hum her back to sleep, I got to thinking. How many times over the past 4 years have I answered that call? Did I always want to? Even when I was resting so well, or too busy, or completely comfortable where I was? I can't say that I was always thrilled about it, but I can say that I have always gone to my children when they called me.

The call to motherhood can come in many different forms.

It's not always a stick with 2 lines, nine months to prepare yourself, and waiting for those first calls for you in a delivery room. Adopted when I was 10-months-old, I am proof of that. There are some beautiful children in my family who are proof of that. Sometimes, it's a pricking at your heart. God leading you to foster precious children who are desperately in need of love and a family. Sometimes, it's a desire you can't explain, to adopt a child who needs you...and who you need, as well. And, sometimes the call to motherhood comes right out of nowhere when you are least expecting it. It wakes you from a peaceful night's sleep, turns your world upside down, and rearranges it in a matter of minutes. But, you do what all Mamas do, and you answer that call.

The dear friend that I was lifting up to the Father when my baby called for me, got an unexpected call a couple of weeks ago. And, instead of turning the other way, and letting someone else "deal" with it. She answered the call that thrust her into motherhood overnight and thirteen years late. People told her it was crazy, and it would be too hard, and it wasn't the right time. But, she obeyed God, and dove heart-first into motherhood, because that child needed someone to be her mother right then.

I am immensely proud of her.

She answered the desperate call of a child who was crying out for a Mama with all of her heart and everything she had. For once in her life, that precious child will have someone to call for, even in the middle of the night. And, my friend, although brand new to the role that has been given to her, will take that child in her arms, wipe her tears, and make her feel safe and loved, because that is what Mamas do.

You never know what a difference you can make in the life of a child, just by answering when they call, and answering when He calls you to motherhood, no matter what circumstances lead you there.

"A Father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in His holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land." Psalm 68:5-6

I think this must be one of my cousin Vanda's favorite Scripture passages. And, I wanted to share it, because she has answered the call to Mama in many different (and all wonderful) ways.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday Of A Few Words

Sarah's dance class had Parent's Night. Just before their performance, I looked down and Rylee was sitting right next to Sarah's friend, Lylah. During Sarah's dance, ALL eyes were on her. And, by ALL eyes, I mean mine and Brian's. As soon as the dance was over, I started looking around. "Where is Rylee???" I ask Brian. He says, "I don't know. I thought she was with you." PANIC sets in. So, I start frantically searching for my 21 month old who seems to have disappeared in a sea of tutu's. Just then, right through the door that Brian had been standing in front of the entire time, Rylee walks through, holding a cookie, and smiling mischievously. In the 2 minutes that no one was watching her, she got up, went to the next room where all the refreshments were, and had her own personal intermission. As nervous as I had been, I had to laugh! That girl keeps me more on my toes than any of the little ballerinas we saw that night.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

25 Things About Motherhood That Make Me Smile: Christmas Edition

1. The drive home on Christmas Eve with both girls sleeping in the backseat.
2. Reading What is Christmas? to them when I put them to bed.
3. Putting out gifts from Santa in certain spots in the living room.
4. Making cookies for Santa. This didn't get done this year. Santa got store bought oatmeal cookies and a Little Debbie Christmas Tree cake with a tall glass of milk.
5. Leaving crumbs on the plate and a little milk in the glass.
6. Writing a letter to Sarah and Rylee from Santa.
7. Waking up hours before they do, too excited about Christmas morning.
8. The looks on their faces when they realize Santa came to their house.
9. Playing in the snow-snow angels, snowman, snowballs!
10. Watching Sarah "play" her violin like she is the Concert Master of the Symphony.
11. Watching Rylee roll in laughter when she tickles Elmo and he laughs. Just like Sarah did 3 Christmases ago.
12. The NOISE!
13. The MESS!
14. The JOY!
15. Waiting (impatiently) for Gigi and PopPop.
16. Sarah's reaction when she opened her salon.
17. Sarah "painting" PopPop's fingernails.
18. Settling in for the evening to watch Toy Story 3 together.
19. Sarah laying on Gigi's lap during the movie.
20. Rylee falling asleep in her Daddy's arms during the movie.
21. Me crying at the end of the movie like the dork that I am.
22. Uninterrupted, quality family time.
23. Getting to feel like a kid again on Christmas morning- only better, because of my husband and daughters.
24. Sarah saying that she can't wait until next year.
25. Me saying, "Neither can I" and meaning it.

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

And, this year that dream came true!

When we went to bed late Christmas Eve night (or I should say early Christmas morning), there was grass on the ground. When we woke up, we had at least 2 inches of snow!

Brian saw it first. He got up and looked out the window, then started yelling for me to wake up. "Rachel! Get up and come look!!" We were almost jumping up and down like little kids. Speaking of little kids...ours were still sleeping. They both slept in until nearly 10 am. Which is totally unheard of, but we were glad. That meant we got to go out and play in it first. Brian and I had a snowball fight, it left me with a huge whelp on my knee, but I didn't care. We had a white Christmas! Who can believe it? This is Alabama! I am usually still wearing flip flops in December. The only thing I can figure is that God looked down and felt sorry for us spending yet another holiday living up here and decided to give us a little consolation prize. It was wonderful. After the girls got out of bed and saw all the things that Santa had brought, we got bundled up (I won't mention my husband's not-so-brilliant idea to keep the kids' clothes dry) and went out to enjoy it. Sarah was so excited to build real snow angels. She was just beside herself. Rylee wanted to eat the snow, and she did. We all worked on Frosty. Sarah and Rylee enjoyed putting his buttons on, which is why he had so many. People driving by our house were taking pictures of him!
It was an incredible Christmas morning. We had the best time!