Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Growing old with someone

Today is Grandma Phyllis' 84th birthday.

A year ago, I wouldn't have thought that she'd have made it to this day. You see, since she's lived here (20 months) she's been hospitalized several times, had pneumonia once or twice, broken some bones, and been found by neighbors down the street a few times. And yet today, on her 84th birthday, aside from some dementia and a slight case of diabetes, she's totally healthy and strong.

Now some people may think we're nuts for inviting a totally dependent elderly person into our home when we already had 2 (and now 3!) kids and a crazy dog. I don't disagree. We are nuts. But in our hearts, crazy as they may be, we believe that families should take care of one another.

So we do. And I'm not gonna lie and say that it's easy. It's the hardest thing we've ever done.

But then we see Emma exhibiting compassion (something that I totally lack) and guiding Grandma to the table or giving her hugs or encouraging her. Or we see Grady checking up on Grandma and making sure she's where she's supposed to be. Or we see Grandma's face when she's sitting on the couch singing along to a Bible Songs dvd with three of her great-grandkids. And that's how we know that we're doing what we're supposed to be doing. Our lives are crazier and more hectic- yes; but they are also richer and fuller and more compassionate and less self-centered. And our kids are learning, right along with us, the importance of serving others and being hospitable and generous.

And so really, even though it's inconvenient and often unpleasant and it requires so much more of us than we would like to give, we consider it a blessing to have her in our home and are so thankful to have her as a part of our family.

Happy 84th birthday Grandma Phyllis.... and many more :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


On Sunday, our baby girl turned 5.

Yes, the past 5 years have gone by too fast.
Yes, we cannot believe that our itty bitty baby girl is now 5.

She's full of life. Full of questions. Full of compassion.

She's a worrier. A nurturer. An artist.She's a perfectionist. She's inquisitive. She's mature. She loves to do math (yes, really). She doesn't love to eat- still.Happy 5th Birthday to our sweet, wonderful Emma Joy!

We are SO proud of you and are very thankful that God has blessed us so greatly by giving you to us.

[And thank you to Dan Ramming for the great pics!]

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

"Are you really 26?"

We had a mother's day tea at Emma's preschool today. All of the mothers showed up during the last 45 minutes of class and we squeezed our post-birth hips into preschool sized chairs and pulled ourselves up to a preschool height banquet table and then had our preschoolers sit on our laps while we drank sweet tea and ate cucumber sandwiches. It was bliss. Each child filled out a questionnaire about his or her mom and we got to see how our children view us. Here's what Emma had to say about me:

My mommy's eyes are __green___.
Her hair is __black__.
I think my mommy is __26__ years old.
My mommy likes to __take a nap__.
Her favorite food is __beans__.
My mommy laughs when __"I be silly"__.
My mommy and I like to __watch tv__.

Perhaps I should spare you my thoughts about her answers. (Black hair? Really!)

Since this questionnaire was handed back to us during the tea, all of the moms got to chuckle about the answers. Some kids said that their moms liked to do laundry (yeah right!), and most of the kids said ridiculous numbers for their mom's age, like 150 or 9354. Well, the age question gave some other moms the courage to ask me what they'd been wondering for the past few years: "Are you really 26!?"

"Um, no, I'm 28 actually."

to which I received comments like:
"Ooooh, 28. I had my first kid when I was 28." [said kid is now in 8th grade so this mom is in her mid 40's]
"Oh, to be 28 again! I'm 44 and I'm about to be a grandma!"
"Oh man, my twenties were rough. My thirties were sooo much better. And so far, my forties have been very enlightening" [blah, blah, blah]

Needless to say, these conversations confirmed what I already knew but was hoping to disregard: I am by more than a decade the youngest mother in Emma's class. No exaggeration. The mothers of her friends are closer to my mom's age than they are to my age. I know that it's cool to wait to have kids later in life and all, but really, can't there be ANY moms around that are my age? Or even in their 30's!?!

To my dear friends who are not yet married and don't yet have kids: no need to fret. you haven't missed the boat. in fact, if you move to walnut creek, you'll buy yourself another 10 years before you'll even start to feel the need to procreate :)