July 26, 2012

Time marches on... (If mush isn't your thing, then look away!)

I came across this picture today.

 It's one that was developed from a disposable camera from our wedding (obviously). We have several variations of this photo, as there were at least 10 little ones that ran up to us with camera in hand. I sat studying it for several minutes and got a little lost in time. My first thoughts were centered around the fact that, man... we're actually getting older. That's something that happens when you're not paying attention. One minute your a teenager... and the next minute, you look in the mirror and your reflection has changed a bit.

After I wrapped my head around the fact that I'm not 21 anymore, my thoughts shifted.  As I sat staring at this picture, it occurred to me that I did it. I actually married the cutest boy that I've ever known. I know, I know... you think that you married the cutest boy ever. I won't argue with you, but I can honestly say that I think that this boy... is by far the cutest!! I started thinking about my 16 year old self. If my 29 year old self walked up to my 16 year old self and handed her the picture above and said, "This is who you're going to marry." I think my 16 year old self would have done a back flip. He's totally her type... cute face, blue eyes, nice smile, perfect hands... 16 year old me would have totally been into him. Suddenly my balloon popped and I slowly made my way back down to earth. Without realizing it, a big goofy grin had formed across my face. It was so goofy that I actually glanced around, embarrassed as if someone may have been watching me and reading my thoughts. Ten and a half years have gone by since I was first smitten by his big blue eyes in the moonlight, and his sweet ride.

Throw a couple of surf boards on top, and that would complete the picture. (I grabbed this one off of Wikipedia.)

A few things have changed since then, but one thing remains the same... he's still the cutest boy I've ever known. I tell him that a lot, and he rolls his eyes and scoffs... "yeah, right." What can I say, it's true. Even when he makes me SO mad that I can't see straight, I can't deny to myself that he's cute.

Two babies later and tonight after dinner he whistled when I walked by. I grinned when I was out of his sight, because whether or not I want to admit it... it felt good. There is nothing that goes untouched by time, myself included, but he still loves me.  One night when Morgan was a few months old, we were laying in bed. I was emotional and fussing about changes with my body. Beau rolled over and put his hand on my tummy and said, "without those, we wouldn't have her", as he gently nodded in the direction of Morgan's bed. I melted. In that moment that was all I needed to hear. We've had our share of ups and downs... but on April 3, 2004 we stood before God, our family, and our friends and we made a vow to one another. It's because of the sanctity of that vow that when life throws us lemons, the thought of running doesn't even cross our minds. Our only choice is to work it out... together. We have to overcome trials just like anyone else, but I am thankful to be married to a man who is willing to stand by me while we work through them. The appearances of youth will fade, our bodies will grow old and feeble. Love, respect, kindness, compassion... these things will continue to grow stronger. Ten years from now I hope that I'm even more in love with my husband than I am today.

July 21, 2012

Summertime Memories and A GIVEAWAY!!

From the time we are small children, we understand that there is something special about memories that are made during the summertime. A couple of nights ago I started thinking about my own childhood memories of summertime. The girls were sound asleep... and the steady, rhythmic breathing coming from the couch in the next room told me that Beau had fallen asleep too. I sat in the darkness in front of a brightly lit screen, and with a few short clicks of the keyboard I typed... #1. I decided to put my memories in to words. Only the first ten, typing as they came to me. I closed my eyes and leaned back in my chair, as I quickly began to retrace the steps in my mind. My first memory stopped me somewhere around the late 80's/early 90's. I found it tucked away in a folder marked with the inscription... "Childhood Memories: Summertime Edition". I flipped it opened to take a peek, and here are the first 10 that I found...

#1. It's nighttime and I'm in the back seat of a car that's driving down a country road surrounded by cornfields. I don't think this is a specific memory, but a collection of memories that represent an experience that I loved as a child. The windows are down and the wind is whipping through my hair. As I peer out the window, the fields are twinkling with 1,000 tiny lights. Lightning bugs. The twinkling of the field is mirrored by the grandeur of a sky glowing with thousands of brightly lit stars . I'm sure this scenario repeated itself hundreds of times throughout my childhood. I still love to drive down country roads at night with the windows down. There's just something about the smell of a field at night on a dark road, while the wind wraps itself around you. Pure. Magic.

#2. My dad and his moped. When we were kids my dad had this black moped. It was bigger than the small little scooters that you see now, but smaller than a motorcycle. There were several times this one summer, my dad stuck me on the back of that moped and gave me a ride to the public swimming pool. The thought of it makes me laugh out loud... seriously. I'm not kidding... right now I'm laughing. It makes me think of that scene in Dumb and Dumber. You know... when they're on the moped. Whatever, you know what I'm talking about. Anyway, we lived in rural Indiana at the time so it wasn't like we were fighting traffic, actually we were probably passed up by a few tractors. I don't remember why we took the moped, or how my brothers got to the pool for that matter. Anyway, speaking of my brothers and the moped...that leads me to memory #3.

#3. Same moped, different summer. In this memory, we're at our house in Chesterfield. It was a hot, sticky summer evening. We're a little older at this point and my dad would let us take turns driving the moped from our front porch to the small creek at the back of our neighbor's property, which was a pretty good lap. My brother, I won't tell you which one... (starts with J, and rhymes with posh), was driving the moped when he took a bit of a spill. My mom frantically leapt from the porch to run to my brother's side. Well, it just so happened that a group of Chesterfield hooligans were meandering by at the exact same moment. Those heathens had the nerve to laugh at my brother?! Oooooh, no! Sista don't play like that. My blood boiled. I marched out to the road and gave them an earful of the trashiest trash talk that my 11 year old self could muster up. That's right... they kept on walking. But not before I spit on one of them and my mom ran over to hold me back... sorry I got carried away. The spitting is just completely untrue, but I'm not kidding about the smack talk.

#4. The ball park. I happen to hold the opinion that every kid should have childhood memories that involve bleachers, dirt, sweat, and the stickiness that comes from half sucked lollipops, Fun Dip, and Big League Chew. I probably won't be sticking my kids on the back of a moped any time soon, but I'm firm on this one. My babies will have memories of the ball park.

#5. Box fans in opened windows at night. If you know me, then you know that I have this thing about wind. If I received an offer to live in a wind tunnel, well... if I could persuade my husband then I might consider it. Our wedding was on the beach, which of course included wind. I can't sleep without a fan. I took my own fan to the hospital with me when I delivered both of my girls. Life is just better when you add a good breeze! When I was growing up, we always had box fans in opened windows on summer nights. The coolness it provided, the crisp smell of the night air, the sound of singing crickets barely audible beneath the steady hum of the fan... mmm... just the thought of it makes me want to grab an afghan and curl up on the couch. 

#6. Camp. My mom would always take me shopping and let me pick out all of my own toiletries a few days before camp. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, a new sponge, deodorant, shaving gel, razors, a new toothbrush, toothpaste...the works. And only the best... we're not talking about Suave here people... we're talking Pantene, maybe Herbal Essences... okay? Now, to a 12 year old girl with a hot pink and black Caboodle, let's just say it was kind of a big deal. I'd always get to pick out new socks and undies, some new knee length (FC regulation, of course) shorts, and a new white pair of canvas tennis shoes. (Not sure at what age I quit requesting those.) Anyway, camp has it's own separate file in my mind, and trust me...it's busting open with great memories. One last thought on that. I realize now what a financial sacrifice it was for my parents to send the three of us to camp each summer. (And in our latter years to two camps, Minnesota and Indiana.) I will be forever grateful for the memories that they allowed us to create by making that sacrifice.

#7. The Grahams & Kelley Veneskey. This isn't a specific memory and I'm going to have to double up because I'm running out of numbers, but I have to say something about The Grahams and Kelley. As I've been typing, I've thought of several memories that include The Grahams, or Kelley. Both were such a huge part of my life growing up in Indiana. The Grahams are my second family. I could type for hours of the memories that I have of growing up with them, and still not come close to getting them all out. Our families went to church together, went camping together, took road trips together, celebrated holidays together, got together for game nights every weekend... I could go on and on. Karen, Becky, Julie, and Terri are the closest thing that I've ever had to sisters. They are still family to me, and always will be. Kelley - to this day when someone in my family talks about Kelley... we know who they referring to, no Veneskey needed. She was my best friend during some of the most important years of my life. You know, that time in your life when you can say anything and not have to worry about sounding like an adult. That... not a girl, not yet a woman phase. She was my Kelley. She saw me through my earliest heart aches, and made me laugh harder than just about anyone ever has. We had BOXES full of inside jokes written out into notes which were then folded craftily and adorned with acronyms such as, L.Y.L.A.S and B.F.F.A.A.D, and topped off with a 4U2C-ONLY. I've only seen Kelley one time since I've been a bonified adult. I was pregnant with Morgan and she happened to be in Florida on vacation. I pulled out a box of those old notes that I was talking about and we laughed until we cried as we tried to decipher our code words and remember the details of our inside jokes. When school was out for the summer, I always had more time with The Grahams, and Kelley. Late nights, sleepovers, good times...

#8. KOOL-AID POPSICLES! Who else had them?! The little tupperware popsicle containers that you poured Kool-aid into and then stuck in the freezer. Grape was my favorite. Note to self: search ebay and find some of these. This may be a firm requirement for my girls as well.

#9. My dad and the weather. If there was a storm coming, he would always walk out on the porch and study the sky. When I was 4 or 5 and we were living in Illinois, we had a close call during a breakout of big tornadoes. My dad was out of town that night, and it brings tears to my eyes as I recall how terrified my mother was as she did everything in her power to ensure that her babies were protected. I have so many vivid memories of that night, but I won't go into all of the details because I'm on a roll with good memories and that was a very scary night for me. Basically, I grew up with a fear of tornadoes. Probably not too uncommon of a fear for a kid growing up in the Midwest. Where did I find solace? My dad. I trusted him, especially when it came to the weather. I knew that if it was going to be bad, he would make sure we got to a safe place. It's funny because Beau is very much the same way. Only, he can pull up the radar on his iphone. I never saw my dad do that.

#10. I'm officially cheating because I'm gonna double up... again. I have to say something about watermelon and Mason jars. I can't imagine a summer without watermelon, nor do I want to. I grew up on watermelon, I think that's why I'm so sweet. ;) I love, love, love me some cold, crisp watermelon. We put a little salt on ours and the summer simply can't start without it. And Mason jars... well, let's just say my mama had us drinking out of Mason jars before Pottery Barn slapped some in their magazine and called 'em chic. Mmm... a Mason jar packed to the lip with ice and beverage, the cold glass against the warmth of summer forming little beads of sweat that slowly roll down the sides pushing away the heat of the day. There's nothing like a cold drink from a Mason jar. Okay, so now I feel compelled to talk about bologna sandwiches with lettuce and Miracle Whip... because obviously that's what you eat for lunch on a summer day when you are drinking an ice cold drink from a Mason jar... BUT I'll stop here.

Oh, there are so many more memories. Stories with my beloved brothers, and corn fields, and water hoses, and cool grass under bare feet, and dirty feet on hot pavement, and sleepovers, and sprinklers, and swimming pools, and good friends, and late nights, and... maybe this post will require an encore. I'm bummed that I didn't dig out some fun pictures to accompany this post when I was at my parent's house a few weeks ago. BUT, for now, you have a sampling of my childhood memories of summa, summa, summatime!

That was fun... and refreshing. In fact, it was so good... that I think that you should do it too! I want to hear about your favorite memory from summertime as a child. Guess what?! It's time for a GIVEAWAY! (Enter brass band, balloons dropping and confetti cannons.) That's right, one commenter on this post will receive their very own $25 gift card! (Winner may have their choice of either a Walmart or Publix gift card.) Seeing as how this blog is just getting rolling, I'd say the odds will be pretty good. ;)

THE DETAILS: To participate, share your favorite SUMMERTIME memory from your childhood, in the comments portion at the bottom of this blog. Only comments left here on the blog will be entered in the drawing. After you share your memory, visit the Sit Down And Take A Brake Facebook page, and hit like! After that, you are in the running! Want to increase your chance of winning? Share the link on your Facebook page, and get an additional entry in the drawing. To make sure that your "share" gets counted, send a message to Sit Down And Take A Brake on Facebook with the word "SHARED." The winner will be selected via Random.org, and will be announced on Facebook no later than Wednesday at 9:00 PM EST. Talk about an easy $25, perfect opportunity to grab yourself a watermelon and some Mason jars! ;) Until then... share it, shout it, pass the word to all of your friends! Oh, and happy recollecting everyone!

Summer ain't over yet!! Drink it up!!

July 17, 2012

Letting Go and Lessons Learned... at Skateland

 Last night at the skating rink, Morgan asked me if she could skate in the race. Secretly, I didn't want her to. I was hoping that she'd be content sitting on the sidelines as a spectator for just a little while longer. You see, we don't go skating very often... and she's just starting to get the hang of it. I don't like to underestimate my children, but let's just say that I'm aware that roller skating isn't quite yet one of her strengths. Somehow I managed to be mildly enthusiastic as I said, "Sure, if that's what you want to do. Just remember that as long as you try your hardest, that's all that matters." I was afraid that she would go out there and end up getting hurt, and I'm not talking about broken bones.

The whistle blew and the "black and white striped shirts" cleared the floor, it was time for the races to begin. Morgan was so excited, she had reminded me at least five times in the two minutes prior, that the races were about to start. I watched as she slowly made her way to the starting line. The whistle blew, and she was off. Sort of. She fell immediately, but then got back up. As she was leaving the line, another little girl was rounding the rink and coming up the other side. Obviously, it was not going to be a close race, but my Morgan kept going. She fell again, and got back up. Then again, and got back up. She rounded the end of the rink where one of my girlfriends, Teagan and I stood cheering for her. When she saw us she didn't skate over to the edge in defeat, but gave us a big grin and kept going. Falling several more times, but getting back up. She made it back around to the starting line, where one of the "black and white striped shirts" ushered her off of the rink. I watched from across the rink as she crumpled to a heap on the floor to rest.

During the few minutes it took her to make her way around the rink, I think I fought harder to choke back tears than I ever have. I'm not even sure which descriptive emotion to use to explain myself. It's hard not being able to reach out and grab your child's hand when they fall down so that you can guide them to the finish line. At the same time, I was so proud of her. She's never been much of a quitter, and even though she was one of the last... she finished. A few minutes later she made her way around to me and being true to her inner drama queen, let out an exasperated, "Whew", before falling into my lap. She was trying to fight off a big grin and this time I didn't have to try hard to sound enthusiastic as I told her how well she did. I let her know that I was so proud of the way that she kept going and told her that she'd really be set to race the next time. She smiled and nodded, then asked when the races would be over so that she could go skate again.

Somewhere between watching her fall down, watching her get back up, and seeing that big ol' grin on her face, something occurred to me. This is such a big part of who I want her to be. I've always encouraged her not to worry about what people think when it comes to being yourself and having fun. In other words, don't let someone else hold you back because they are worried about looking silly. I was worried for her, that she would end up disappointed or embarrassed. But she wasn't. She taught me a big lesson in a little area of life I like to call, "WHO CARES?" Are you having fun? And did you try your hardest? Well then, who cares how many times you fell down!? I think that sometimes we lose a little bit of that when we turn into adults. (By the way, when does that happen?) Anyway, I felt a little bit ashamed of myself that I mentally voted for her to sit it out, just so there wouldn't be a chance for her to get hurt. (And by that I mean that I didn't want her to feel bad if she didn't do well.) That's not the standard I want her to use when making decisions in life. Besides, how can we improve if we never start trying? So, last night gave me a lot to think about. I learned that sometimes our children teach us lessons that are as valuable as the ones we try to teach them. AND sometimes they teach us these lessons using tools that we've given them. I'm so proud of her and I hope that she NEVER, ever loses the confidence that enables her to fall down in front of hundreds of people, and then get up and give 'em a grin!

And now, for your viewing pleasure... our night at Skateland!

It was a big night for Teagan too! She rocked her first pair of skates, as well as her first French braid!!
So thankful for our good friends who loaned us these sweet little skates!
This girl did a lot of falling down too!
And a lot of getting back up with a grin!
Morgan and her sweet friend Lydia! (Her poor brother did end up with a broken bone!) Roller skating is dangerous business people!
Slowin' down for a pose!
Naturally, Ms. Independent didn't want my help when she stepped out onto the rink. After about her 15th fall she finally REQUESTED my assistance!
My little racing star warming up before the big meet! ;)
Sweet girls, making sure Teagan felt included!

So remember,

It's not the number of times you fall down that matter, but the number of times that you get back up that count!

I'm very excited about an upcoming post that includes a giveaway! Also, I've created a page on Facebook for Sit Down And Take A Brake. If you haven't had a chance, please drop in and give it a "like".  You can also subscribe at the top right of your screen! As always... thank you, thank you, thank you for your encouragement and support!! I'll be back soon!! 

July 14, 2012

Lessons From Big Blue

I was blessed to be without a car for the entire month of June. While it inconvenienced me greatly, I'm calling it a blessing. What's that, I'm not making any sense? Well, I've been trying to focus lately on just how blessed I am. I mean, really think about it. There are so many in this world who are suffering in ways I could never imagine. When you put it into perspective, it seems very silly to complain about a broken down car. I think that sometimes the best way to appreciate what we have, is to go without it for a while. I've used this same principal in the past to teach my daughters a lesson. I'm afraid that many Americans live such rich, comfortable lives... that sometimes when things don't go exactly as we plan...well we throw a tantrum like an unruly toddler. Life will be filled with trials and adversity, but there is a peace that comes with finding contentment through tribulation.


So, there I was... at the very beginning of summer, without a car. At first we thought it was a small repair, so we left it to sit in... "the shop." Oh, and by... "the shop", I mean the driveway. We thought we'd save a few pennies by letting my ever so talented, jack-of-all-trades husband take a look at it. The problem with that... is this. When you are a jack-of-all-trades, your plate tends to stay pretty full. One week passed and we quickly realized that Beau's Automotive Repair Center, wasn't getting very good nods from the BBB. So...Plan B, get someone to come look at it. Mechanic hopeful #1 thought he could make it out within the week, then mechanic hopeful #2 thought he could make it out within the next week. I went out of town for a week and put the whole thing out of my mind. Upon my return, I realized that putting it out of my mind did not result in a magical repair that left me with a fully functioning vehicle. SO, I picked up the phone and called for a tow. Long story short, I have my car back now. Turns out it was not a small repair, but I'm ever so grateful to have a running vehicle. Fingers crossed that it stays that way!

There's a rainbow in the clouds. Let's talk about home. Turns out there is a lot of good that comes from just relaxing and spending some time at home. I'm not the most qualified to discuss this considering that I had occasional access to my in-laws' vehicles during my stint of house arrest, AND I spent a week at my mom and dad's house. A week which included visiting with family, time at the beach, the pool, gator chasing, and a trip to Disney World. However, I was home much more than I would have been had Big Blue been up and running. (I've never called my car Big Blue. I just felt like I needed something there.) So, what valuable lessons did I learn about the goodness of being home. Well, for starters...there is no rushing around to find a lost shoe or make sure that you remembered to pack the wet wipes as you frantically strap two little bodies in to the car so that you can fight traffic to get to where you are going. I'm a girl that likes to be on the go, but admittedly, it was a nice change of pace. 

We broke rules...I'm talkin' snow cones for breakfast. (I whispered that last part there.)


Suckin' it dry!

As always, chipped pink fingernail polish and tiaras are optional. 

Followed by oatmeal... of course!

 We played with ponies...

We rode bikes...

 And took morning walks...

Our $2 garage sale find. It's seen better days but Teagan LOVES it!!

We played with bubbles...

We... laughed, and danced, played with sidewalk chalk, read books, colored, played games, watched movies, made crafts, took naps, baked cookies, dressed up, pretended we were royalty, pretended we were animals, pretended, pretended, pretended...all within the boundaries of the place we call home.

So, when I talk about how blessed I am. I don't mean that I have the most, the best, or the nicest. I think that it's easy to get caught up in comparing our lives to the lives of others. A friend left this quote on a Facebook status of mine a few weeks ago: The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel.” ~Steve Furtick

In the age of Facebook and Pinterest, it's easy to look and compare, which can lead us to feel like our own lives are lacking. Here's the thing, nothing of this world can go with us when we're gone. SO WHAT, about designer clothes, and fancy cars. So. What. I've got clothes on my back and a Durango named Big Blue, who happens to be running well at the moment AND with A/C that's ice cold. I'll take it. Life is all about perspective. I'm learning, there will always be someone who has more than you, bigger than you, and better than you. On the other hand... for most of us there will always be someone who has less, smaller, and worse. If we spend our lives chasing more, more, more... then there is a good chance our lives will pass us by without ever tasting the peace that comes with being content. I'm not suggesting that we can't work to better our lives, and strive to achieve goals that will improve our way of living. But, we need to always be aware of the blessings in our lives, regardless of how big or small they may be. We shouldn't lose sleep over the desire to have a nicer kitchen or a bigger closet filled with fancier clothes. It seems that many times the folks in this world that have an abundance of wealth and the finest of earthly possessions, are still seeking. Enjoy life while you have it. It's something that can easily be taken away, so make the best of your circumstances today. Something to think about...one day this life will come to an end. There is no way to get around that. When that day comes, it won't matter how much you owned, how nice your house was, or whether you carried a Coach bag. It won't matter if you had perfectly polished toes or if your hair was always in place with fresh highlights. It won't matter if your skin was flawless and your teeth were straight and white. Nor will it matter if you drove a nice car, wore expensive jewelery, or went on extravagant vacations. Trust me, I like to feel good and get pampered just as much as the next girl. I enjoy getting dolled up and slipping into some new clothes. I like pretty things. My point is, they are all things. There are more important things in life. In the end, what we owned and how we looked won't matter. The way we choose to live our lives will. Make the best with what you've been given. This world is not our home. Have a great weekend everyone!

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matt. 6:19-21

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July 9, 2012

Life's A Teacup, DRINK IT UP!!!

WOW!!! My life has felt like a whirlwind lately!! I can't believe it's already July!! Let's see...what's new since we've last met? Well, I'm now the proud mama of a beautiful seven-year old. 

Morgan's seven-year photos. We pulled off a dirt road and took them in an old orange grove. We were hungry and Teagan was in her car seat yelling, "I want out!",  which was motivation to move quickly. I think we were done in about 10 minutes. I didn't get a lot of big smiles but often times when I ask her to smile, it looks forced. That's why I love candid photography. Thankfully I have LOTS of her smiling. She's getting in to this "serious" posing business these days! See for yourself! :)

So, seven... I've been thinking a lot about this. Seven just sounds so much older than six. I really can't believe that we are here... and so soon! There is a window that is raised when a child is born. It is opened wide with a view to all the magic that childhood can hold. I'm aware that with each birthday that passes, that window closes ever so slightly. I know, I know...she's ONLY seven, but sometimes my mind runs away with me. I've always done this thing where I say, "double the time we've had her and she'll be...". I do it because I can never quite figure out how it's possible that time can move so quickly. It started at 6 months. I said, double the time we've had her and she'll be a year. Then at 18 months, double the time and she'll be three. Then at three, double the time and she'll be six! Now, she's seven...double that and you get fourteen. Sometimes Beau has to help me make my way back down to Earth by reminding me of just how much time that really is. Maybe that's true, but it certainly has flown by. I know that these next seven will too. It tugs at my heart a little, but here's the thing. Knowing that it's going to fly by gives me motivation. Motivation to fill these next few years with as many magical memories as possible. I know that a day will soon come where she won't buy into my letters from the tooth fairy, or my tales of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. It is up to us, up to me...to be sure that the space in her brain that is labeled "Childhood Memories", is filled to capacity with as much magic as possible. Of course there will be a space for life lessons and discipline acquired, those may not be covered in glitter but I realize that they are equally important and just as necessary, and one day she will too.  There is so much I need to teach her and I know the time for that is now. It's easy to pull out the boxing gloves at night when I'm in bed and beat myself up. I didn't do this, or I should have said that. I lost my cool there, or why didn't I ask that here. Trial and error is a part of parenting, and thank God that children are forgiving little beings. This is what I'm praying for now, that God will guide and direct me as I raise my girls. That He will give me the patience and wisdom that I need to handle situations that arise. That He will give me the strength to get back up when I stumble, or fall short. That I will be the best that I can be, and that I will provide for them in all that they need. Spiritually. Emotionally. Physically.

And this girl?

Life's a TEACUP baby, drink it up!!
 Well, let's just say she buys me some time. I remember when we made the decision to go for two, I was so incredibly torn. I was so worried that having a second child would somehow throw a wrench in the bond that I share with Morgan. Silly me, I was so wrong. That magic I'm talking about building in Morgan's memories? Teagan has multiplied that magic in ways I could never describe. She's feisty, spunky, and sweet. She keeps all of us on our toes for sure, but I know that she will extend the magic in our house. The four and a half years between my girls means that one day Morgan will be a player in building the magic for Teagan in those final years before her window drops shut. I know that life is filled with magical moments beyond childhood. Trust me, the experiences and emotions that motherhood has brought me are absolutely some of the best that I have. But there is something about childhood memories...no worries, no clouded judgment, no prejudice, no disbelief. When we're not looking, ever so gradually, those qualities fade. I know that I am establishing a pattern that they will one day repeat with my grandchildren. (If we're all so blessed.) My hope is that it is a pattern worthy of repetition.

And why does my heart swell when I sit back and read my thoughts that I've just put into words? Certainly not because I'm a grammar queen, or a spelling champion. Here it is...I read this quote this morning:

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection." ~Anais Nin

Yes, that just about sums it up. I want to taste this again one day. 

If you are interested in following along with me, well...I'd love your company. Please join to the right of your screen. Planning to catch up with another post in a few days. Until then...drink it up baby!