Tuesday, January 13, 2015

 { Dear Noe B }

Dear Noe B,

Someday you and I are going to look back on the end of 2014 and we might say something like this,

"Remember that one time - when you turned eight years old, and absolutely everything that could go differently than planned - pretty much went differently than planned?!

Remember how hard it was, the year you turned eight, to accept change or any little hiccup?

But remember how God was developing character in you and you sailed through all of those hiccups and disappointments like the champ that you are?

Remember how brilliantly our tree sparkled that year and how it made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

That year you were still trying to decide how you felt about having such a special personal day 3 days before such a big all compassing holiday.

 - But surely you'll remember that you decided to grin through that deciding.

Oh, and those disappointments we were talking about? How could you forget the sting of finding out on your actual birthday that little brother tested positive for the infamous "influenza A" - and we had to make tough choices about our travel plans.

You had already started packing a bag with your precious things to show cousins. Crafting things to keep you occupied on the 9+ hour trip to IA, books to read, and of course you had packed your mind with plans. 

The year you turned eight was the one you had been waiting for, remember? The first "friend party" year. And some of your dearest friends are your IA cousins. So it was to be a big pizza party with the beloved cousins, cake and balloons, - you had it planned to a T.

The tears could not be easily forgotten. Mom and lil brother were gone for hours, from the Dr to the pharmacy, and much waiting in between. You heard one sided phone conversations between me and your daddy. The decisions we had to make were not easy ones for us the year you turned eight.

Remember opening your gift from Grandma out on the deck - in the rain - so as not to expose gram to nasty germs?

Buddy - you sure handled it all like the big boy you were becoming.

That coast guard Lego set was exactly what you were hoping for, and I think the hours of play that ensued after your rainy gift opening were at least a little bit of a balm to your heart.

And in true Noe B fashion - you threw yourself into the good. All the good of birthdays and family time and picking up the pieces to a shattered plan - to glue them into something else entirely.

You were really good at that, the year you turned 8.

That's my boy.

I get you. If the rain has not brought a rainbow, you will create one. Because that's what we do.

The year you turned eight you had yet to grow in your two front teeth. We had much fun with that, and my you looked cute. 

See, you had grown alot that year, leading up to the time you turned 8 - and you had learned a thing or two about life and facing the hard with the good. Seven to eight is a significant time in a boys life - and that year we saw the growth it had brought.

Remember eight year old Noe? How he was a peacemaker and deep thinker?

Creative, literal, relational, helpful,
and - well, there was that spitfire spirit that was really emerging too. Whew! I do remember the talking back and pushing back that eight year old Noe was quite expert at. My dear little negotiator....

Your silver lining attitude paid off that year. Nearly three weeks after your birthday we instituted "Plan B" - friends, Pizza, bowling.....

Ok, "Plan C" - Friends, pizza, and playing Wii at home.....
{Ha! So, remember that one birthday party where your mama didn't realize that she should've called the bowling alley ahead of time... Funny.
That was a good laugh... or something}

So here's to the year you turned eight and all of the things you were learning. Here's to imperfect plans and holding everything loosely.

Here's to my Noe B and all that he brings to our family. Without you, we wouldn't have quite so much color in our home. We may not be set straight after every sarcastic or truth stretching comment. We wouldn't have as many silver linings softening our life.

I remember the year you turned eight and how much my mama heart loved all over you. I remember feeling how very blessed I was to be your mama, and thanking God for eight precious years with you!


Friday, January 9, 2015

 {The day you turned 12}

Dear K,

The day you turned 12 was good. It was laid back and 3/4 of it was bonafide jammie day, your favorite. 

You have grown a whole lot this year. Being your mama is a cloak that surrounds my heart. Not darkening or hiding it, but draping around it and reshaping it. It's so much of the woman I have become, and not a bit of the woman I thought I would be.

This year I learned what it was like to look into your pooling hazel eyes and not see you. That's alot of hard right there. But see? That's part of being your mama. It's knowing the soft is you and the hardening is not. It's seeing beyond the clenched fists and frustration and peering into the depths of your soul.

My dear little miracle. I know. I know there are things you can't will your body to do. I know that your familiar is everything to you. I know you cling to the comfort of stability, and I am learning exactly what that stability looks like. When even a thread of your well built and somewhat mysterious world begins to unravel I see you unravel, in the most heartbreaking way.

So I hold on to my stability. And I think you know exactly what that is. I heard you tell your teacher the other day that "mama gets up early in the morning and reads her Bible." - And I didn't even know you knew. Because let's face it, you and anything before 7:30 am? - Complete strangers.

But somehow in the peripheral of your heart you know my stability. You have tremendous depths of intuitive knowledge. 

You grasp your colorful beads and rub them with your fingers until the color wears off and they turn grey. - And you feel stable.

You run your bare feet on your soft rug.

Over and over and over.

Perfect rhythm.
And you are grasping at your stability.

So I cry out to my God. Your Creator, life savor, and sustainer.

Over and over. If my prayers were beads they'd be worn to a grey.

When your eyes go blank and frustration colors your being with rage I just want to reach you. I want to tell you that mama's got this and you will be ok. But I can't reach you in those moments. Sometimes I have to walk away and wipe at my own tear filled eyes. I sink down on the floor and grasp for my stability. I pray. I text your daddy. I take deep breaths. Because really, if not for grace and maturity and filters, wouldn't we all be banging our head on the floor, bathed in our own tears, kicking and yelling out our frustration when our stability slips and our world feels out of control?

You are starting to articulate your feelings with more and more clarity and sometimes it stops me in my tracks and I'm shocked at your self awareness.

Your words, a faint light in the midst of a dark freak out moment, "I'm feeling worried that my feelings won't turn around!"  Again, isn't that everyone? You aren't so different after all.

And once it was, "I'm getting nervous. I don't know what's going to happen!"

And one that actually makes me giggle a bit.... Watching a beloved Charlie brown movie and pausing it right after the loveably depressed main character says, "I feel like I'm losing control of the whole world". - And you said, "See?! That's how I feel!" And your daddy, without missing a beat, said "K, you never had control of the world." ;) Ahh the sweet grace of humor.

I long to have the tools to give to you when I can not reason with you. And I am determined to learn. To learn you and learn me. We'll get this. We will. I know your mind has depths I haven't even come close to entering into.

And I love you.

So much.

I love you when you laugh that awesome high pitched can't-control-yourself laugh.

I love you when you eat us out of house and home (can I get a hallelujah for all those years of tube feedings and failure to thrive?!?!)

I love you when you give me a great big smacking kiss right in the middle of a hushed moment at church.

I love you when you run to me from your classroom at the end of a school day.

I love you when you sing to me.

I love you when you think you are a little baby and can cuddle onto my lap.

And I love you when you yell at me. I love you when you try to hit me and when you kick me. it hurts. It's not like it was when you were small. You are stronger than I ever imagined. And this is new and uncomfortable.

For as uncomfortable and taken off guard as I have felt, I know. I know that your discomfort and panic level is through the roof. It happens when your stability is gone. It happens when you don't feel in control - so you literally lose control.

And I love you.

Today you actually verbalized it for the first time - the wonder. "Do you still love me?"

The melt down was minor in compared to some, but you had your typical remorse. When reality kicked in, after your world began aligning to your expectations again, your eyes found mine - and yours were pools of hazel again instead of the flat coal they had been.

"mom - do you still love me?"

Oh baby.

We are both ragged and torn from learning this. So much is new and we just don't know.

But yes. I love you. I loved you before you were born, fell head over heels for all one pound eight ounces of you when we met and my whole world is too tangled up in you to ever break free of that love.

In addition to that, I am choosing.

I am choosing to love through the pain. Because sometimes? Sometimes I don't know if I am cut out of tough enough stuff to make this journey. Sometimes we just do things that we need to do because God orchestrated it and we trust.

I choose you. I choose this. I choose special needs, doctors, specialists, and every chance I can get to grow closer to Jesus through you.

On the day you turned twelve I was once again won over by everything about you. You are big and strong and learning. You walk, run, quote entire movies, love everyone in the whole wide world, and chase after life very passionately.

I love you always.


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

 Business favorites

I plan to be over here more in 2015. There is so much good going on. Right now I am enjoying a string of days and nights full of boys home, hot chocolate, cuddles -  and yes sickness, fighting, All The Normal, plus a good dose of new and special.

I "blogged" over on my Ordinary Miracles Photography blog and thought I would drop a link here to share my heart on the business this past year.

It's my annual top photos of the year post, My top 14 of 2014. 

Enjoy my favorite images of 2014!

Friday, November 21, 2014

 {November} 10 on the 10th

This is what 10 on 10 is all about: taking a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month, documenting a day in your life and finding beauty among the ordinary moments.

Again, a mixed bag of iPhone and Nikon captures.

Oatmeal and coffee to start.

Gearing up for another full day.

{I need Him every hour.... every minute... every second}

My First drop off is at 8:30. 

And the next one is at 9:00 - This sweet capture is Mali's young 5's teacher walking him in. Oh the sweetness! 

Next stop: The township office. Important hoops to jump through for the studio build today! ;)

Got it!

I still laugh when I see this one. *Reality capture*

"But it's 10 on the 10th! You will be in a picture!"

My 11:30 pickup.

And now since I got the permit, he can do this....

And this...

I'm late getting 10 on the 10th up this month.... and let me assure you our yard looks nothing like this anymore... *sigh* the 10th was a beautiful day!  - And now that he's having fun, he doesn't care if I photograph him. ;)

 Even the cats are loving this day.

"Kitty bunk beds"