Friday, August 26, 2011


I admit that lately I've been feeling like I've been lacking in the Mommy Mo-Jo department. I've been working a lot again and things have felt "off" around here. And when things feel "off" I tend to go off the deep end -- over-analyzing all that went wrong, is going wrong, and may go wrong in the future -- when really I probably just need a good night's sleep.

But last night was a good night. A night that told me everything is okay and maybe, just maybe, I can be good at this Mommy thing after all.

I have said before that my Emma is a complicated child. She is passionate and expressive in many ways, but when it comes to the deep-down feelings, she tends to tuck them away. But as with all of us, I know those emotions will find their way out one way or another, so I do my best to pay attention.

I could tell something had been bothering her all week and after a little probing about why she didn't want me to pack a rice milk box in her lunch, she revealed that she is embarrassed about her food allergies. Actually, she told me that she doesn't understand why God made her with allergies.

Now, we've already had the talk about Brooklyn and why God made her the way He did (I may or may not write about that some day), but this wasn't about Brooklyn. And, really, I loved that. As much as my mind wanted to go there, this was about Emma and only Emma. It was about her feelings about being different, which are just as important, just as real, and just as valid as the ones Brooklyn will have some day.

I know this seems obvious--and it is--but I have been worried lately that Brooklyn's special needs have been taking priority over the girls. So it was just really, really nice to focus on Emma's feelings. To know that I could still see them lurking beneath the surface and, more importantly, help her express them.

So last night, at her bedside, we had a nice discussion about how God makes us all different and unique, and how we should try our best to be proud of those differences. And if for some reason we don't like or understand some of the decisions He makes, we have to choose to trust Him and focus on our blessings. We can either choose to sit in the corner and be sad about our allergies -- which won't change a darn thing -- or we can choose to be happy and be thankful that we have lots of other foods we can enjoy.

She understood, cried, asked a few questions, and we ended it all with a few hugs. I honestly thought we had a Full House moment -- I swear there was music playing the background -- and then I asked her, "Do you feel better?"

Her response?

"Not really."

Okay then.

But somehow I think she did feel better. And if she didn't, I know she at least learned something. I know I did.

I can do this.

I may say the wrong things most of the time and at the wrong volume -- and God knows I will certainly do my share of messing up in the future -- but I am learning to see her heart. To ask the right questions. To listen.

I can do this.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


So I'm not really a crafty person, but I have to admit that I've had the itch to make something with my hands the last couple of years. I even asked for a sewing basket for Christmas a few years ago and was ecstatic when I also got a sewing machine. Okay, yes, it is still in its original box and collecting a whole lot of dust, but I WILL learn to use it someday. (It's on the life list, right next to learning to play the piano and touching a letter on Wheel of Fortune.)

Anyway, when I started planning Brooklyn's birthday party, I decided it was a good excuse to go a bit "Martha Stewart" and try my hand at some DIY party stuff. You know, do the whole "theme" thing and actually buy materials to make things like banners and cupcake toppers...things most sane people would buy from the store.

If there is one thing I have learned this last year it's that life is something to be celebrated. And although the party preparations totally stressed me out and only about half of the guest list ending up attending, I don't regret one of those crafts or little touches that I knew I wanted at this party. Something inside of me wanted to express -- with my own two hands -- just how beautiful life is to me these days.

How simple pleasures can mean everything.

How something as simple as tissue can turn into a beautiful flower. How colorful paper can dress up a cupcake. Or how fresh flowers in the middle of a table or a bag of gummy worms might make somebody's day a little brighter.

Yes, Brooklyn's 1-year mark gave us a lot to celebrate. "Big" things like successful surgeries and a functioning shunt, and "little" things like kicking legs and contagious giggles. But, what we have really learned is that EVERY day is a gift that should be celebrated. And perhaps more importantly, that joy is not found in what you are given, but what you make of it.

Ignore the fact that the pink flower on the left is hiding the letter "b" in "birthday." It's not a big deal...really. I mean, it doesn't bother me at all. Not at all.

(*Note: I did not make the pinwheels. Those were purchased from this crafty lady.)



A HUGE thanks to my Mom who helped me make a ridiculous number of tissue pom-poms. XOXO

The absolutely gorgeous dress made by my friend Katie that Miss Brooklyn tolerated for almost the entire party.


My three garden fairies...


Big sister making sure little sister inhales as much sugar as possible.

Not sure if she ever found the cake, but she sure did love the icing.




"Yeaaaaaahhhhh!" (One of her favorite words...second only to "Hi!")

And the big finish... showing off her latest trick -- pushing to sit!-- that managed to squeeze out a few tears from her adoring audience. (Video later this week.)






"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
Psalm 139:14