Thursday, May 31, 2007

Pure Joy

My heart has been heavy recently. My youngest sister, Grace has had some bad news about her kidney function. She will require dialysis very soon and will probably have to have a transplant. She has had to deal with serious health issues since she was a baby and had always seemed to be unfazed. But now she is a teenager, and can see how her body is failing her and can worry about her own future. This breaks my heart; she deserves to have a carefree childhood without this worry. I can not imagine having to go through the treatments and procedures that she has. She bravely faces each new challenge. I find myself not just praying to God, but begging and pleading with God for a miracle. I keep asking that this could all just disappear and she could be 'normal' whatever that means. The more powerless I feel--what can I do to help her?--the more I find myself looking to God and asking, "Why Grace?" It seems like she has already had to deal with so much. Today, in my reading, I found this and it stopped me in my tracks:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perserverance. Perserverence must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4. I do believe that Grace is a gift from God and that he intends to use her for great things. I will continue to pray for a miracle for Grace because she is such an amazing aunt and sister. Her sweet nature, love of music and gifted touch with babies are all things I want to have around forever. But now I will also strive to see her obstacles as training for a greater purpose that God has chosen just for her.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Not as easy as it used to be....

Nate and I are travelers. We seem to spend more weekends away than at home. This slowed down for a short time, but now that Scarlett has gotten a little older, we are back to our old ways. On Saturday, we went to Philadelphia to stay with Nate's Aunt Julie and take Scarlett to her first music festival (our favorite thing to do). I got up at 6 to clean and pack. I have to leave with a clean house. I guess this is so that the robbers will not think less of me, I don't know. Anyway, I can usually do this in 2-3 hours. By noon I was still scrambling and Nate was helping out. Then I was shocked at the HUGE pile of gear we were taking for two nights. But it all seemed essential (and 90% of it was Scarlett's!!) So we get on the road and I am picturing us strolling around downtown Philly when suddenly I remember "the stroller!!" So fifteen minutes later we have the stroller and are leaving town again. Now Scarlett whimpers. This means she has dropped her binky, so I do the usual reach back to re-bink. Only when I grab the bink, I feel something funny. I bring my hand back, and all I can say is CRAPAMUNDO. Earlier we had giggled at her grunting a little bit, but little did we know the floodgates had been opened. We pulled over at the McDonalds to assess the damage. This was poop tsunami-style. Nate just kept asking "What should we do?!?" while I tried to throw diaper wipes at the problem. He was holding her under the armpits while I was decontaminating and trying not to puke. Meanwhile Scarlett has this grin on her face as if she is a little proud of the whole thing. I really feel so bad for the poor McDonald's bathroom cleaner!!
Hours later than promised, we did show up in Philadelphia. Scarlett had a fabulous time with her Aunt Julie. The day of music was excellent. Scarlett made friends with another baby there (as well as charmed just about everyone who walked by) and giggled with enthusiasm while dancing and playing in the fountain. She fell asleep rocking in my arms while we listened to the Wailers sing "Stir It Up."
I have realized that the days of picking up last minute to drive all night to some week-long crazy festival may be behind us for now, and it may take several tries to get out of the door, but there are still many more adventures ahead of us. Only now they are even sweeter as we share them with Scarlett.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I am a new woman today! Last night I put Scarlet to sleep at 6:30 and she did not get up until 4am!!!!!!! It was awesome. I slept so hard I drooled and dreamed. I haven't slept like that in so long, that when I woke up I had no idea where I was. I don't even care that it was probably because she got her shots yesterday, I am just going to be happy. I feel like I could run a marathon or something. WOOHOO!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wedded bliss and Aunties

Today is my 2 year wedding anniversary with my husband. Unfortunately he is out of town for business. But I am not all alone--I just finished rocking Scarlett to sleep and marveling at this most precious product of our love. Could it really have been two years already? I am so glad that I married my best friend. It hasn't been boring for a minute!
While Nate has been gone, my three youngest sisters, Kelly, Achley and Grace came to keep me company. We shopped, bowled, watched scary movies and laughed a lot. All three girls were constantly finding ways to help me--doing dishes, straightening up, carrying in groceries. They even babysat Scarlett before Nate left town so that we could have a night out. I saw my first movie in a LONG time! I had so much fun with my little sisters but the best part was seeing how much they love Scarlett. I'm sure the highlight of their weekend was Guitar Hero or even having TV (not available at home) but just having them around made me and Scarlett so happy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Is anybody listening!?

I teach 6th graders, which overall is a fun job. But this morning, it took a bigger toll on me than usual. I said, "You will need your books for this, if you don't have one, please come to my desk to borrow one." Then when I found a student who was not working, I asked, "what's the problem?" He replies, "Oh, I can't do this--I don't have a book." This sarcastic being that dwells within me is busy working out several witty things to say to express my frustration. It takes all of my patience to repeat my instructions without said comments. Don't go thinking I'm so nice though, really I just figure "what's the point, they're not listening." Sometimes I repeat the same directions 6 or 7 times in one class, and then I will still have someone ask what to do. AHHH!

Then I come home and the dogs start barking. I tell them to be quiet. They go to another room to bark. (While they have not done what I have asked, they are slightly more obedient than 6th graders.) When Scarlett wakes up because the dogs are barking, I try to reason with her that it is still nap time. She does not agree. So I get her up to feed her, but Nate took her pears to the babysitter, forgetting that I asked him to take the cereal instead. AHHH!

Now I am thinking, alright fine, if no one will listen, than I will not even bother telling anyone anything at all anymore. But this is ridiculous for two reasons. First of all, I love to talk. So much so that I was never good at keeping up the silent treatment because I would forget about it until I was half-way through a good story or joke and it was too late to turn back. Second of all, I love telling people what to do, so giving this up would just not work. What a quandry.

This must be God's way of reminding me about how annoying I am when I do not listen. So God, if you read my blog...lesson learned.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Don't rock the boat

One of the hardest things about leaving Rhode Island was leaving behind our boat, The Irish Mist. It was nothing fancy, but it was our favorite place to spend a summer day. When Nate decided to buy another boat, I was against it (I was very pregnant and against a lot of things). It seemed like we were throwing our money into the harbor and would never get to use the boat. We got a boat. We are throwing our money into the harbor, but now we have made two successful trips out and are instilling weekly "boat night." Scarlett loved relaxing in the V-berth and looking out of the hatch above her. I liked using words like jib and halyard and calling Nate "captain." I forgot how infectious the feeling of the wind driving us forward becomes. I love the idea that boat time is "take 'er easy time" even when Nate freaks out about something. So I guess I am sold. Now we just need to agree on a name. Nate nixed my idea: Breakin' Wind, and I said no to Take 'er Easy Time" so now we are at an impass...thoughts?

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Sat. night I threw Nate a surprise party. It was especially surprising because it was ten days after his birthday! We had a great time. It was great seeing his shocked face. He didn't cry, but it was close...Scarlett could barely stay up until he showed up at 8pm. The rain storm didn't dampen the hopes of a frisbee game in the back yard (although it did dampen the players). I tried to get people to dance, but to no avail...

And when all the guests were gone (except the ones sleeping on the couch) and we headed to bed (before midnight--we are getting old!) and I was thankful for another year with my guitar hero.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

like peas and carrots

The other day my girlfriend Marie and I took our kids to the circus. Actually we never made it IN the circus--we had three kids under two and were not allowed to bring strollers--but we caught glimpses of the animals while hanging' in the minivan in the parking lot. When I got home, my face hurt from laughing too hard. We have also shopped without buying anything and gone out to dinner and not eaten (note to nursing mothers: you cannot pick crabs one handed!).
You know that you have found a real friend when you don't really have to be doing anything at all to have fun. We talk for days--I dare someone to try and get a word in edgewise--probably won't happen. We can talk about anything and occasionally even think eachother's thoughts. I really knew we were tight we shared American Idol picks (Go Blake!)Husbands are awesome, but there is nothing like a girlfriend to brighten your day!

Friday, May 4, 2007


My 6th graders and I are reading "A Wrinkle in Time" in class and had a really interesting discussion about the main character. She is struggling with the disappearance of her father, and it was so sad to see how many of my students could identify with her. Many of them confessed to worrying about a father they had not seen in years. Others talked about fathers who lived nearby but were rarely involved in their lives. One even told a story of waiting for ten years to finally meet his father.

This week, my husband Nate celebrated his birthday and I reflected on how lucky I am to have him. I have a great husband! But now I am doubly thankful because Scarlett has such an adoring daddy who can not wait to spend time with her and brings a smile to her face every day!