snaps from breakfast: I bought myself a griddle last week and i might love it as much as i love my children. we are a breakfast family. it is my favorite time of the day. and one of the best perks of having a self-employed husband is getting to eat breakfast with "daddy" every morning.
Oh, I just hate trying to "catch up" on the blog after an absence. I'd almost rather not blog than be sporadic and vague. But I just can't give up on this little blog -- I get waaaay too much joy reading back through the archives. It is honestly one of my life's greatest joys (not hyperbole) to go back and read about the funny things Henry was saying/doing a year ago, the things I was thinking about/working on, the way Nate and I were loving each other. So...here I am.
And I have so much to say that I hardly know what to write. Some of the heaviest/most important issues of our life right now are things that I don't really want to write about, but I hate to frost over them. Tonight I'm more inclined towards sharing than frosting, so...
We took a huge leap of faith moving out to Oregon. Huge. Sometimes when I really think about it, all I can do is blink hard and breathe deep. Too much contemplation just breeds anxiety. So I find myself trying to come to a better understanding of faith - the kind of faith that changes behavior and relieves anxiety.
I spoke in church just before we left Plano about "Hope through the atonement" - which is maybe the most delicious of all the gospel doctrines, to me. One thing I came to understand in the piecing together of that talk is that it becomes easier to have hope in the atonement, that is, in God's ability to perform His promises, when we are able to look back on our own lives and see that He has done it before. And I can certainly look back on my life and see how and where God has performed His promises. And so, even though my breath catches in my chest when I look up at the mountain we're standing at the foot of, I have enough of a history with the Lord to believe that He is aware of us. And this isn't the first peak we've attempted to summit.
I read this quote from Patricia Holland the other day and felt like she was speaking my heart:
The Lord reveals his secrets to the meek, for they are "easy to be entreated" (Alma 7:23). Indeed, I have come to realize that my own personal promptings from the Lord most often occur when I have been brought down into the depths of humility and suddenly feel a lot less confident in my own ability and much more dependent upon the Lord. He certainly uses my pain as his megaphone for an otherwise dull ear. I am beginning to see that the very experiences I would have chosen to run away from at the time have really been the major motivational turning points in my life.
I can already feel this process shaping me in ways that are hard to define and even harder to speak of because, of course, I am still Emily - clumsy and stumbling, weak and inexperienced. But things are changing, I think. I mean, I know they are. I can feel it more than I can explain it. This is a growing season. The humility and near-desperate dependence must give the Lord more to work with. I wonder what we might learn. What me might grow into as a family. And I get a little bit excited about the possibilities.
In more day-to-day family news:
I had gotten to feeling like I was kind of a neat mom last week - just thinking I had a few things figured out. And then this week happened. And Lily gets out of her bed 900 times a day when I'm trying to put her down for naps/bed. And Henry's been unusually whiney. And I feel like my kids ask for candy way too many times a day. (I hate candy!) And we've all been a little irritable and restless. And it's made me feel like I'm way back at the mothering starting-line. Which is fine because, relatively speaking, that is exactly where I am. So I've been thinking more and reading more and praying more...and hopefully we'll be back to homeostasis around here soon.
These days I'm thinking a lot about Henry's upcoming birthday (5 already!) and the possibility of giving him his first real party. With friends. I'm not a fanfare and fuss kind of person (at all), so this completely intimidates me. But I think he really wants a party. And I love him so crazily that I'll throw a party if that's what his 5-year-old heart desires.
I'm also thinking a lot about kindergarten, how it's approaching much too quickly. And how I'm just not sure if we're ready for it. I am trying to figure out if my anxieties about it are just a factor of my own sentimentality (not wanting to let go of the no-school, no-structure era of life that I've loved so dearly) or if they are indication that an alternative to public school might be better for our family (ie homeschool). I'm not sure yet. This is something I am praying about very seriously. And thinking about at least hourly. I can see very compelling reasons for both (homeschool and public school) - I just want to do what's best for our family.
The other day Henry went to Simon's house for a playdate and I got to spend 3 hours with Lily. It was the best ever. I feel like I am peeling back the layers of her personality every day. She is just an indescribable little peanut -- endlessly curious, opinionated, sweet, perceptive, tender, sassy and so, so funny.
I really hope we'll stay friends 'cause I think she's going to be really neat. A few mornings ago she woke up, climbed out of her bed very quietly, sneaked into her daddy's office, grabbed the red and the blue white board markers and colored all over two pieces of paper in her bedroom. I couldn't believe she only colored on the paper. (And a tiny bit on her pajamas :) And that she made her little masterpiece while the rest of us were sound asleep! She made her wakefulness known a few minutes later when she grabbed a pair of heels from my closet and clacked around in my bathroom. I've got to get a little tent to put over her crib -- she could get into serious (dangerous!) mischief while the rest of us slumber away! Most mornings, though, we all know she's awake when she makes her wishes for milk known unequivocally by putting her face an inch away from Henry's and shouting, "BA-BA!" He just burrows his head under his covers and waits for me to intervene.
Henry is such a cheerful, helpful boy. He is so sweet to his sister - so sweet. (And she can be a real pill.) The other day I asked him to play with her for a few minutes while I had a shower. While I was undressing and getting in, I heard him gently entreat her to the playroom, "c'mon Lily, do you want to get your babies? We can push them in the stroller..." In that moment, motherhood was better than I ever imagined it would be. It's not always like that of course (see above), but with Henry, those moments are pretty frequent. There's just something special about his heart - very tender and dear.
Well, there are more thoughts, but they'll have to wait. Hopefully it won't be so long between posts from now on...
p.s. someone I want to introduce you to:
Friends, meet our pet fish:
his name is
...wait for it...