Saturday, May 31, 2014

2151 to 2160

2151. Early morning noises: Sam's door creaks open, Vava's door quickly follows. "Good morning darling, you okay?" ♥
2152. Sam saying sorry unprompted to Patrick for screaming in the car.
2153. Vava eating chips with a polite "thank you" after each one.
2154. Vava waving bye to me, and then waving bye to the baby in my belly.
2155. The kids napping for FOUR hours.
2156. A cozy afternoon nap for us too.
2157. Chatting with our neighbours.
2158. Sam being so excited to drive over the bridge every single time.
2159. Killing the to-do list.
2160. Laughing at hilarious Patrick.

Friday, May 30, 2014

2141 to 2150

2141. Sam and Vava playing in the yard.
2142. Hanging out with mom friends.
2143. Timbits and kisses.
2144. Fun music on the radio.
2145. Telehealth.
2146. A picnic in the warm afternoon.
2147. Sam showing off his splint to kids at the park.
2148. Vava cuddles.
2149. Lounging in the evening with my one true love.
2150. Laundry fresh off the line.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

2131 to 2140

2131. Sam and Vava chasing bubbles in the sunlight.
2132. Sam chasing his shadow on the way to the park.
2133. Soft new sheets via Amazon.
2134. Birds swooping and chirping.
2135. Vava wearing her hat in the sunshine (I think she's finally learning that it's nonnegotiable).
2136. Both kids wanting to snuggle with me before bedtime (it's usually Patrick)!
2137. Yummy supper that I could kind-of taste.
2138. An unexpected email from an old friend.
2139. Happy news for people I love.
2140 Watching The Lion King music vids.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

2121 to 2130

2121. A husband who says "enough is enough; go to the doctor."
2122. And holds me close while I shiver sick in the night.
2123. Family who pray for me.
2124. A peaceful morning with my sillies.
2125. The blue sky, green leaves, warm sunshine at the park.
2126. Patrick coming home on his lunch break and putting the kids down for naps.
2127. Talking with my mama.
2128. Patrick sending me upstairs to rest while he manned supper-to-bedtime with the kids.
2129. Sweet snuggles with both kids before they fell asleep.
2130. A good shower and ahh bedtime.

Monday, May 26, 2014

2111 to 2120

2111. Sam finding grass in my hair and gently extracting it. "No worry mama, I not pull your hair." ♥
2112. Vava devouring salad at supper.
2113. Patrick washing dishes.
2114. Finally being able to eat at suppertime, after a day full of freezing.
2115. Chatting with my sister to start the day.
2116. Sam telling me about his day before bed.
2117. Snuggles with my fresh-from-the-tub loves.
2118. Hot hot sunshine and blue skies.
2119. Vava saying goodnight to the baby.
2120. Having energy to scrub some walls & windows.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

2101 to 2110

2101. Sleeping in this morning.
2102. Sam's hilarious wake-up call: he comes into my room with his toy pterodactyl screeching, smiles sweetly at me, says goodnight, and leaves, locking the door on the way out.
2103. Coming downstairs to find Patrick hanging clothes on the line.
2104. Vava so excited to wear a dress.
2105. Sitting next to a sweet old lady at church.
2106. New, much-needed gorgeous sunglasses.
2107. Sam & Vava being so excited to see the kites at the kite festival.
2108. Vava calling kites "cats".
2109. Making homemade yogurt drinks for my tired, napless babes.
2110. Patrick's comment when we were watching Nanny 911 ... "this gives me so much hope that we're doing something right."  ♥

Saturday, May 24, 2014

2091 to 2100

2091. Patrick waking up happy and energetic.
2092. And taking us shopping.
2093. And buying us lunch.
2094. And taking us to the park.
2095. And doing the laundry.
2096. And holding my hand.
2097. And kissing our kids.
2098. And tucking Vava into bed.
2099. And tucking Sam into bed.
2100. And tucking me into bed.  G'night!

2081 to 2090

2081. I bumped my head getting out of the car. Sam's voice "you okay mama? Baby moving lots?" ♥ 
2082. One-on-one time with Vava while Sam napped.
2083. Kids eating ice cream cones for the first time this year.
2084. Hot sunny day.
2085. Patrick making a fire in the backyard.
2086. Vava eating the spiciest Ragin' Ranch chips with bliss.
2087. Hearing sweet boy's heartbeat.
2088. Tiny leaves unfurling on our tree.
2089. Having supper on the deck.
2090. Daylight at 10pm.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

2071 to 2080

2071. Waking up next to my favourite person in the whole world.
2072. Morning kisses from my kids.
2073. Baby boy doing somersaults.
2074. My parents being awesome.
2075. Patrick putting out the garbage for me.
2076. Timbits making a frustrating morning better for my patient kiddos.
2077. Sunshine this afternoon.
2078. A kind lady in the waiting room.
2079. Sam being so proud of his splint.
2080. A soft bed at the end of the day.

Not Perfect

I was putting Sam to bed a few nights ago, and he pointed at his sheet in distress. "Not perfect, mama, not perfect!"

His choice of words made me laugh. His bed is never, even fresh from the laundry, perfect. Smooth & tidy is our goal, and even those? Toddler smooth. Toddler tidy.  Before he falls asleep, his sheets are usually untucked, stray blankets slip to the floor, pillows find themselves at the foot of the bed.  Ahh, just the way he likes it.

But I do the same thing.  When things don't go the way I plan, I grab God's hand and cry "not perfect! Not perfect!"

And he's probably laughing, because obviously.

And I keep expecting situations and people to live up to this impossible standard I imagine should exist.  It's like I forget that heaven comes later.  Every day I wake up and have to come to terms again with the fact that I live on a planet full of sinners and acknowledge that things go wrong.  When things are hard and the car breaks down and the furnace breaks down and my temper breaks down its not that God has it out for me or that He's unkind and is sending a bunch of difficulties because He doesn't like me.

Things go wrong because creation is bent.
Things go wrong because sin is.

Things go wrong.

And we're all nodding because we all have this expectation that echoes from a perfect eternity in our hearts, this innate understanding, a sense of rightness and an appreciation of beauty and peace.  And the sudden surprise of disappointment when things go wrong is the dissonance, the harsh clang of reality bumping up against expected perfection.

"Not perfect!" we cry, distressed.

And God, being God, takes that imperfection and makes it the hiding place of loveliness.

In poetry, in music, we get it.  When the creator deliberately inserts dissonance into the art, we pay attention.  There's something beautiful hidden here.  There's another layer of meaning to unfold, some secret to discover, something worth finding.

That not-perfect? It's the gap where there's enough space for grace to meet us.  With perfect, we don't need grace. But imperfect? That's where grace blazes.

I am and do a whole lot of non-perfection.  You'd think it would make me more understanding and tender towards others, but instead I find in myself a tendency to judge. To point and murmur "not perfect." At you. At myself.

And my sister or my husband or someone who loves me nods and shrugs and loves me anyway and I realize it's not exactly a surprise.  Nobody - nothing - in this world is perfect. Human history is just bad guys and Jesus.  Anything good comes from Him.

But somehow I try and try and still the sheets come untucked and I misspell a word and forget garbage day and my house smells old and my car creaks and I think I left the laundry in the washer again and

Not perfect!

Grace hears the "not perfect" and laughs.  Grace doesn't expect perfect.  Grace doesn't expect. 

Grace receives what is.
Toddler-smooth and toddler-tidy and toddler-untidy too.

My heart longs for heaven, for the day when work produces its intended result and isn't hindered by
my own clumsiness or someone else's. For the restfulness of perfection and beauty and rightness.  But right now, I'm going to work on soaking in grace. On expecting imperfection from everything and everyone but Jesus.  On receiving the wrong things, the cacophony, the interruptions ... and loving it, instead of pointing and shrieking "not perfect."

Because ... obviously.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2061 to 2070

2061. Banana pancakes with my love and our boogery kids.
2062. Vava wearing her bear suit and tutu around the house - simultaneously.
2063. Texting with my sis.
2064. Patrick taking Vava for a quick drive while I tried to help Sam nap.
2065. Getting the bathroom scrubbed early because Patrick was home all day :).
2066. Being married 8 years today!
2067. Homemade iced tea ... weirdly, it's the only thing I can taste with this cold.
2068. Kleenex with lotion.
2069. Vava's little cough sounding like a fox's bark.
2070. My reliable man, taking care of us all so well. ♥

Monday, May 19, 2014

That Moment

It feels really good.
That moment, when you're sitting outside with a cup of tea, and your hardworking husband is building you a composter (because you can take the girl out of Nova Scotia but you can't take Nova Scotia out of the girl) and he's tipped his hat at that one delicious angle.
That moment when he compliments a freckle on your ankle.
That moment when he confesses that he misses working with the toddlers underfoot because even though they slow him down, they're such good company.
That moment when the birds are singing and you hear the distant homesick cry of a seagull and you know what it means.
That moment when you can't breathe through your nose because you have a disgusting cold and your husband smiles at you anyway and says around the nail between his lips that you're beautiful.
That moment when you realize you're just like your dad because you are starting to get twitchy about the nails that might be lurking in the grass tomorrow to stab the kids' feet but you don't want to nag and then your husband gathers them up when you haven't said anything.
That moment when you quote your kids to each other because they're so hilariously repeatable.
That moment when he's wearing a Curious George bandaid on his hand to comfort an adhesive-wary three-year-old.
That moment when the baby kicks and rolls over, just to say hi.
That moment when you've been married eight years tomorrow and you can't think of any better realization of your vows and love on that day than the exact gorgeous life you're living right now.
Uh huh.
That moment?  That's a really good moment.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

2051 to 2060

2051. Waking up with snuggles and smiles from Sam.
2052. Vava eagerly greeting everyone with kisses.
2053. Morning sunshine drying the clothes we left out on the line last night.
2054. Vava eating her oatmeal for breakfast, even though she's sick.
2055. Patrick taking Sam to Sunday school.
2056. My beauty-girl singing the clean-up song and gathering the strewn sidewalk chalk.
2057. Sam with.a soap-bubble beard.
2058. Vava being sad because she had to wait til she got off the potty before she could wash her hands.
2059. Talking with my awesome mama.
2060. Patrick bringing me hot drinks and rubbing my feet.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

2041 to 2050

2041. Sunshine and a happy morning.
2042. Sam cradling his bandaided hand against his chest all day because Patrick told him it wouldn't sting if he didn't let it get dirty.
2043. Vava re-loving the swings ... she'd forgotten her passion for them over the winter.
2044. Free donut day! Happy birthday Tim Hortons!
2045. A quick visit with Chrissy - hooray!
2046. Hannah babysitting so we could go ...
2047. To donair night! With our generous friends ♥.
2048. Fire trucks on our street and all the neighbourhood kids milling around.
2049. Tin Lizzie Cheesecake ice cream.
2050. Sam asking for bedtime.

Friday, May 16, 2014

2031 to 2040

2031. Friends coming over to play.
2032. Having a date with Patrick in the middle of the day.
2033. And finding out that our babe is a boy!
2034. Talking with my mama.
2035. And sisters.
2036. Super spicy butter chicken poutine.
2037. A gift basket filled with natural bath products.
2038. Patrick hanging laundry on the line and doing the dishes.
2039. Relaxing on the couch.
2040. Sam hugging my belly and saying "hi brother!"

Thursday, May 15, 2014

2021 to 2030

2021. Garbage pick-up.
2022. Leftover pancakes.
2023. Chatting with my sister.
2024. Playgroup.
2025. Sam practicing self-control when another kid hit him.
2026. Free mocha from McDonald's.
2027. A kind lady taking pity on me at the grocery store.
2028. A friend's blog.
2029. Family walk after supper - found an eggshell.
2030. Cozy snuggles and snacks.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2011 to 2020

2011. Vava's hands on my face, pulling me close for ten goodbye kisses ... as she went outside to play on the deck.
2012. Sam sleeping in.
2013. Banana pancakes.
2014. Sam helping me hang clothes on the line.
2015. Kids totally absorbed in the bubbliest bath they've ever had.
2016. Playing ball after supper.
2017. Patrick cleaning up from supper while I took a shower.
2018. A call from my little brother.
2019. Doing one-piece puzzles with the kids.
2020. Sam asking me to coze him, sing Jesus Loves Me, and rub his back.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

2001 to 2010

2001. Took Patrick to work, so I had the car to do errands!
2002. Both kids high-fiving the Target balls.
2003. How happy they were to sit in the big double-chair mammoth cart.
2004. New sippy cups that don't leak.
2005. Lunch-date with kind friends.
2006. A big God to carry today's full prayers.
2007. Isaiah 45:10 ... favourite new pregnancy verse.
2008. The kids happy to have sidewalk chalk.
2009. A Chapters date.
2010. Discovering that a business I predicted years ago is starting to boom. :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mothers Day

Yesterday was Mothers Day.

(Mothers' Day? Mother's Day? Well, you know.)

That day, the Sunday in May when we all stop and look at our moms for a minute and really let ourselves dwell on the magnitude of her love and sacrifice for us.

And then let her buy herself a present from us because we live on the other side of the country and last-minute long-distance shopping is a joke. No? Just me then.

I loved seeing all the pictures my friends posted of their moms - old pictures, new pictures, look-alike pictures, are-they-really-related pictures - it was gorgeous. And there were lots of tributes and celebrations and flowers sent and cakes eaten as kids of all ages said thanks for being Mom.

I received the best gift my toddlers could have given me: they slept two hours past their recent waking time ... yes, I got to sleep in for an extra blessed two hours. Our son came into our sun-soaked room at 8:30, rumply and adorable, wiping drool off his cheek and asking for breakfast.

We spent the morning at church, the afternoon with friends, and the evening resting. It was a glorious day. Strangers called "happy mothers day!" when they saw us playing with our kids at the park. Friends shared cards and encouraging notes. My kids said "happy birthday mommer" which was as close as they could get to whatever was going on. I got to chat with my gorgeous, graceful, loving mama.

But then came this morning. The sun was not shining, the kids were grumpy, and my husband was at work. Breakfast clearly wasn't as appealing as hitting siblings, and just when I was about to toss the kids into the backyard to play, a depressing drizzle started. I think I wrestled with three shrieking temper tantrums before 9am. (At that point, I figured God gave us rain boots for a reason, and we went out anyway.)

We had work done on our house today, so we couldn't find relief in a walk. We were stuck with each other, getting along or not. And it was usually not.

When naptime finally came, I snuggled down with my Bible to catch up on four days' worth of reading. And God told me about the person who should really be thankful on Mothers Day ... (yeah, you saw this coming)

It's me. Even when they're fighting, whining, being miserable ... I wouldn't trade these kids and this life for anything. Ever. You know what I get - not just Mothers Day, but every day?

I get to wake up every morning to babies who need me, love me, think my hugs and kisses heal every injury. I get to soothe them in the night when thunder bangs or they lose their favourite lovey. I get to hear them singing Jesus Loves Me, off-key and mumbley, while they play with trucks. I get to cheer them on when they try something new (or something old - because why not?). I get to celebrate their birthday anytime because they don't know what a year means and blowing out candles is one of their favourites. I get to grab their stinky toes and listen to their belly-laughs. I get kisses, at all times and in any state of cleanliness or nose-runny-ness. I get company in the bathroom. I get silly conversation while I shop. I get to make awesome breakfasts or because-i-said-so suppers and fill up those busy little energy-burning bodies. I get to plan surprises and see eyes light up with joy. I can make an entire day epic simply by opening a bottle of bubbles.

I get it all.

I get to be a mother.

I wanted to be, for so long.

And I couldn't.

But Sam's birth mother stretched her own generous heart open so wide, wide enough to give us Sam -

And Mothers Day is every day, because every day I am a mother. Every day, I walk in the midst of this life that is a gift, and it is so much more than I ever asked or thought. On glorious days, on mediocre days, on sunless dreary miserable days, I cannot look around me and see anything but gift.  My kids?  Mothers Day presents of the highest order.

I'm grateful. And grateful. And grateful. I've been receiving gifts since God started knitting me in my mother's womb.

Yes. Every day is Mothers Day. I'm grateful.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

1981 to 1990

1981. The kids sleeping in til 8:30 ... two hours extra on Mothers Day, hooray!
1982. Hugs and warmth from friends at church.
1983. Friends for lunch.
1984. Lots of laughs.
1985. Ragin' Ranch chips.
1986. Dishes all washed ... before the chaos ended!
1987. Getting to be a mama to intrepid Sam and irresistible Vava.
1988. A meandering walk in the friendship garden.
1989. Patrick finishing the basement demolition all by himself because his wimpy wife dies over centipedes.
1990. Talking with my favourite woman in the world ... my momma!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

1971 to 1980

1971. A fun morning with friends at the mothers market.
1972. Sam's excitement over the potty I bought.
1973. Vava helping me carry in the groceries ... straining and heaving to budge the 6lbs of apples.
1974. Patrick's awesome pics of the kids playing naptime.
1975. Laundry blowing in the warm breezes.
1976. Heat on my back while manning the barbecue ... hello substantial sunshine!
1977. An old friend popping in.
1978. A new friend popping in.
1979. Shopping with just Sam - handsomest little date.
1980. Patrick rescuing me from the world's yuckiest centipede.

Friday, May 9, 2014

1961 to 1970

1961. Vava naming letters and singing the alphabet to herself.
1962. Sam standing in the porch, saying goodbye to Patrick, hair tousled and wearing pyjamas.
1963. Sam, hands on his hips, surveying the collection of puddles, "hmm, I guess it rained."
1964. Vava sobbing because she had to come inside after an hour playing in the mud with friends.
1965. Vava giving me two kisses when I asked for one.
1966. Patrick surprising me with kisses in the middle of the day.
1967. My mother's day present: The Nesting Place.
1968. Sam telling his friend "thank you for come Sam's house, pwees come 'gain soon!"
1969. Patrick tearing the paneling and studs off our basement walls.
1970. Toasted marshmallow mochas while we played at the park.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

1951 to 1960

1951. Diane driving Patrick to work.
1952. Friends and playgroup.
1953. A satisfying chat.
1954. Reaching eighteen weeks today!
1955. Sam feeding Vava lunch with airplane bites.
1956. Sam being fiercely protective - trying to rescue Vava from the nose-blowing trauma I was cruelly inflicting on her.
1957. The kids playing together outside before supper.
1958. God's beautiful unexpected gifts for our friends.
1959. Getting some big chores done.
1960. Deep conversations in the shower haha.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

1941 to 1950

1941. Pyjama-snuggles from my morning joys.
1942. Buds bursting on the tree outside my window.
1943. Kids playing hard at the toddler gym.
1944. Getting kisses from Patrick in the middle of the day.
1945. Sam remembering to ask sweetly and politely, "pwees turn weewo down, mama!" (Please turn window down.) ♥
1946. Sam and Jackson's fall-down hug goodbye.
1947. Sam singing to himself in the car.
1948. Vava hugging herself with excitement over her bath.
1949. A pleasant & quiet evening.
1950. My hard-working husband loading the car for a trip to the dump!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

1931 to 1940

1931. Sam and Vava's joyful greeting this morning.
1932. Breakfast all together before Patrick went to work.
1933. Lunch with aunt Diane.
1934. Homemade sweet tea.
1935. A deep nap.
1936. A clearly growing baby.
1937. Leftovers for supper.
1938. Unjunking a little more of the previous owners' stuff.
1939. Chatting with my sister.
1940. A restful evening.

Monday, May 5, 2014

1921 to 1930

1921. Sam and Vava eating breakfast with their toques on.
1922. Heat! Furnace repair complete by 9:30am.
1923. Sam and Vava playing catch ...  kind of.
1924.  Vava lying on the floor with her feet up on the wall ... such a mini-mama!
1925. The kids requesting peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.
1926. Vava falling asleep in her highchair, then being all sparkly and wide-eyed at naptime.
1927. Sam helping us load the trunk for a quick trip to the dump ... little Mr. Muscles.
1928. Sam and Vava holding hands in the car.
1929. Patrick doing the dishes.
1930. Coconut lime mousse with carmel on top. Mmmm.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

1911 to 1920

1911. The furnace breaking down on a bright sunny day.
1912. Taking the kids to the park before church.
1913. The kids being excited and happy for Sunday school.
1914. Sam maybe outgrowing his migraines from chocolate.
1915. My helpful dad. ♥
1916. Birdsong wafting in through the open patio door.
1917. Park dates with my family.
1918. Coconut milk chocolate mousse.
1919. Extra pyjamas.
1920. Cozy blankets.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

1901 to 1910

1901. When Patrick mentioned the new baby, Sam yelled "best new baby ever!"
1902. Taking the kids to Marina Park.
1903. Sam's determination to walk the entire rock wall.
1904. Vava counting to herself before jumping from one rock to another ... 'one, two, three, jump!'
1905. Vava falling in love with birch trees.
1906. The kids playing hard with birthday-party friends.
1907. Sam letting go of his helium balloon in his eagerness to help Patrick.
1908. Sleepy Vava snuggles at the end of a full day.
1909. Patrick manning the kids.
1910. A happy bride-to-be and loving friends.

1891 to 1900

1891. Cinnamon bun latte from Tim Hortons.
1892. Parking lot kisses from Patrick.
1893. Moms' group.
1894. An unexpected nap.
1895. Sam and Vava playing gleefully in the park.
1896. Patrick giving me his jacket against the chilly spring air.
1897. Ducks waddling anxiously away from eager Sam and Vava.
1898. Finger-food Friday.
1899. New jams after bathtime.
1900. Hot water with lime ... ahhh.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

1881 to 1890

1881. Naturally-occurring palindromes.
1882. Diane's visit.
1883. Only being ten minutes late for playgroup.
1884. Shoes for Sam, just when we needed them :).
1885. Helpful friends.
1886. A nice big nap for the kids.
1887. Deciding on a paint colour for the entry.
1888. Hanging out with Hope.
1889. Stories of God's grace.
1890. Geese in the sky.