Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Reflections

Isn't the Easter Season great? I love to jog (slowly) in the morning. While I'm running when the entire world seems to still be asleep, I pray the rosary to keep my mind from whining about the exercise. And during Lent that means I'm praying the Sorrowful Mysteries - OVER AND OVER. Not my favorite thing to meditate on. And then it's Easter Monday! I suddenly realize, gleefully, that I get to think about the Glorious Mysteries! Adds a pep to my running step. 

Except for the second Glorious Mystery: The Ascension. I get it, it was glorious when Jesus got to go back to heaven. And I'm sure the apostles were filled with awe watching Him ascend on the clouds. Then some angels show up and basically say, "Why are you looking at the sky? He's not coming back so go and preach the Good News."
But then it's just not so glorious imagining myself as one of those apostles. Their best friend, their mentor, their hope, the man they thought was dead and gone to them forever but who came BACK!, the One they now knew was God...He was gone. AGAIN. I just cannot think about this second Glorious Mystery as a good one. It's a downer for me because I'm so sad for those apostles who are lost again - Jesus is gone and the Holy Spirit hasn't been sent yet. Better things are coming, but they don't know that. In my mind, they are longing to be with Jesus again. I want to be able to reassure them.
Mommy and tiny Miriam
Mommy and baby Vivian
For me, motherhood is like that sometimes. When Miriam was a baby, I was a new Mom and felt like a fish out of water. Then came Vivian right on her heels. I was drowning. Certainly people told me this is going to get easier, things will get better! Not every minute for the rest of my life will feel like a roller coaster without the lap bar to keep me held in safely! But like the apostles, I just couldn't see that. There were wonderful, glorious moments of those times - just like the second Glorious Mystery has some obvious glory. But I think it's the challenges and shock of the beginning of motherhood that make that second Glorious Mystery a grimace for me.
Miriam meets Vivian
As I'm running, it's a relief to move onto the third Glorious Mystery: the Decent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Those apostles got their footing, threw open the windows, and stopped letting fear hold them back! They went WILD, they were reckless.

I like to think this is where I am now. We've got our footing around here. I don't feel the constant whiplash. Yes, I screw up motherhood all the time - like the apostles kept on sinning and even fighting with each other - but I'm confident of where this family is going and I'm kind of capable of mothering. I'm doing the work God is asking me to do today and hopefully I'm doing it recklessly, shamelessly.
Mommy and newborn Felicity

I spent so much time just wishing those babies would hurry up and get older, then it hit me last week that Miriam is going to kindergarten in less than a year and a half. That time is going to pass so quickly. I never thought I'd be one of those moms who cries on the first day of school. 
Our lovelies today.
Today I am absolutely sure on that morning when we pack her brand new lunch box and send her off with a load of school supplies, I'll lose it.

Friday, May 9, 2014

7 Quick Takes: Take 7

Been delinquent about keeping the public (okay, our families) abreast of the situation on this home front. Gonna amend that Quick Takes style.

1. So these Quick Takes are from Conversion Diary which is blog by Jennifer Fulwiler who just had her memoir Something Other Than God published in which she details her (FUNNY!) journey from solid atheist to seriously Catholic. Mommy is about halfway through it and if you're looking for a good read it's so far so great.

2. Yesterday we went to the zoo and it was so incredibly, insanely busy that Mommy DID NOT TAKE A SINGLE PHOTO ON HER PHONE. She mostly screeched to her little chickies to stay close to Mommy! There must have been five entire schools there - not to mention the regular attendees and the extras who wanted to get out and enjoy the amazing weather we were having. Crazy. It was crazy. Anyways, Tim brought up a good point...could they update their website with something like, "We want to welcome (whichever schools/preschools are coming that day) today!"? And then mommies and daddies across the region could just take a peek in the morning to see if it would be a complete waste of time to show up to the zoo just to spend three hours trying not to break down in tears or pull all your hair out after you run over yet another person with your ginormous double stroller as you watch your four year old trying not to get swept away in the mass of third graders parading past the lions. That Tim, he's full of all kinds a great ideas.

Oh wait, she did get this picnic picture after we finally escaped and were able to breath again.

3. Also yesterday, temps were in the mid-80's. And we had a blast from the past on the back deck in the late afternoon.
While Felicity played in her baby-sized tub, the big girls were given a five gallon bucket of water, water squirting toys, and a coating of sunscreen.
But you know Vivian just couldn't resist...

 4. K Week went really well. Two biggest success stories of the week: kisses. For obvious reasons.
And kites. This hand kite was very easy to make. Mommy bought a rainbow of 1"+ ribbon and some wooden letter O's at JoAnn's. Knotted the ribbon on the O's and the little ladies went to town pretending to fix the un-spring like weather we were having at the time.

5. L Week Their favorite was ladybug day. We've done ladybugs in the past, yet they still loved this! No live ladybugs this time. A snack they were able to assemble themselves and a counting game, among other fun.

6. Lent Week and Easter Week Did so many good things that week without scaring our children with gruesome crucifixion details. Including this little Last Supper scene from Catholic Icing.
Miriam and Vivian loved talking about Jesus' friends by name while Mommy told them some stories of each of the friends. Vivian asked for the doubting Thomas story on repeat for the rest of the day. Mommy also found a great way to try to explain the resurrection via Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar via Pinterest. Basically, we are like the caterpillar during Lent as we try to conform/transform our lives to be more like Christ and Christ is like the caterpillar who went into the cocoon/tomb and came out glorified. Probably there are all kinds of dogma problems with these comparisons, but it helped the girls understand so therefore it's perfect.
Seems very fair to admit that we ate too much candy for Easter Week instead of taking any pictures of the fun projects. But they did happen.

7. M Week Miriam was so excited to talk about MIRIAM last week!! Among other things, we made this Miriam and Moses in the bulrushes craft. 

Happy Weekend. Adults are running a 5K and going to a winery this weekend while kids get to have one of their very-most favorite babysitters tomorrow night. Gonna be a great Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Promise not to talk about this allllll summer...

...but we did our first trip of the season to the zoo yesterday!!! Mommy took all three girls and it went astoundingly well. No crying! MINIMAL running away from Mommy! Only a tiny bit of whining about not getting to do any rides! Just lots of fun and animals and a picnic and playing at the park!!! We'll let the pictures take it from here.

First inaugural duck/goose/fish feeding of the season!
 Excessive goat petting and brushing
 Felicity, begging to be set free from her shackles
 Peacocks roaming freely and showing off
 A.LOT. of pictures of the girls sitting on animal only have to look at one...
...this go round, at least. Because you know we're going back. And you know you're going to be looking at so many, many more zoo pictures for the rest of the summer. Can't wait to get back and start snapping them!