Thursday, May 21, 2009


Teresa is my mother-in-law.  But she is so much more than that.  When it comes to mother-in-laws I hit the jackpot.  Teresa is truly the most giving and selfless person I know, period.  She loved me right away and has never made me feel like she didn't support me as a person.  She doesn't just love me because I married her son.  She loves me just because. 

 She is also my  friend.  We like to go to flea markets and antique shops together.  We have the same political views and discuss them often.  We find lots of things to do together that don't involve Eric in anyway.  I'm not sure this is something people often say about their in-laws.

  Since the birth of Nathan and Zachary, she has gone out of her way to make my life easier when she can.  She comes to visit regularly and is happy, or at least appears to be happy, to just take care of the kids and give me a chance to breath.  She insists on taking the monitors at night, so I can sleep.  She often suggests that I get out of the house alone for a while.  After a recent, stressful drive to Tulsa with the boys, I expressed a relief to hand them off to my parents.  I suddenly had the feeling that Teresa might take that the wrong way, but she quickly started to laugh and said, "You spend an awful lot of time alone with the boys.  That is hard work.  It would be weird if you didn't feel the need for a break."  

She gets me!  She know exactly how my time and thoughts are consumed with doing and being the very best mom I can.  I don't take it likely and she knows it.

Neither of her sons have taken it particularly easy on her, but her love for them is unwavering.  She gives completely of herself and her love.  She never gives a second thought to what she might get in return.  

Imagine what the world would be like if this was how we all lived and loved!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My sister

Krista is 5 years older than me.  Growing up I was always a pain.  Tagging along trying to be cool, stealing her Duran Duran posters, etc. I often thought the only thing we had in common besides our parents, was that we both played soccer for a while.  Except, she was the goalie and very good.  

She is relatively short and I'm relatively tall.  She looks more like my dad's side of the family and I look more like my mom's.  She has always been quiet and not maybe even a bit shy.  As you all know, I am neither of these.   Krista has a child who graduates from high school this week and I have an infant.  I've always felt like we were very different and as we've gotten older I've thought this even more.  The way we deal with our children and confrontations and life, but recently my perception of that has changed.  

She recently graduated with a degree in Elementary Ed.  I have the same degree.  Although neither of us actually see classroom teacher as our ultimate career goal.  We both have interest in counseling.  She would like to work with troubled youth.  I would love to do something with Art therapy.  Anyway, she calls me from time to time to discuss some grave injustice in the classroom and we can talk about it for a  long time.  I'm realizing that we see the world and the people in it mostly the same way, we just express our feelings about it differently.  Krista often takes the relax and see what happens approach.  Allowing people to make  choices for themselves.  I often feel the need to add my two cents, perhaps implying that I don't think the person is capable of making a decision without my help.  It took me a while to figure it out, but I giving my sister's approach a try.  So far it seems to be working.  Thanks, sis.

P.S. My sister doesn't allow people to take her picture.  This is the only pic I could find of her.  It was taken hours after the birth of Nathan.  She was reading, "What color are your underwear?" to Nathan and I.  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Village- Daddy

Yesterday was my 33rd birthday.  I had misplaced my cell phone for a little while in the morning, but when I found it I had 3 happy birthday messages.  The first two were very nice, but the third was my daddy.  My daddy singing happy birthday from start to finish.  He has done this for every birthday I can remember, and it still catches me off guard.  Incidentally, he has also sang to Nathan for every birthday.  My daddy is the one person on the planet that makes me feel truly loved and lovable.  It is so important to feel like you are lovable.  Despite all your short comings and mistakes, you are still worthy and deserving of love.  This is what my dad has always done for me.  His love has always been unconditional.  He is a quiet man and he never seems to get too worried about anything.  But I love the way he looks at me and my sister and all five of our beautiful children.  I will always be a daddy's girl and my dad will always be my greatest symbol of love. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

My village- MY BOYS

Nathan brings humor, imagination, and patience to my village. He taught me patience in the very beginning when he decided to arrive 6 weeks early.  I was challenged every day to be patient in knowing that he would get strong and healthy enough to come home.  At almost 4 he finds ways to help me practice patience everyday.  Mostly I end up laughing at the situation. His humor is my kind of humor.  His silly little jokes or how he knows the exact right time to wag his bottom in my face.  Listening outside the bathroom door while he is in the tub is always good for a few chuckles.  He memorizes almost everything he hears and seems to repeat the most obscure line from a show or advertisement or book at the oddest times.  One morning when I went to get him out of bed his first words were, "You're not to smalls to be my meatballs."  Funny!  and his imagination... for Nathan nothing is what it seems.  He makes up new words daily and then uses them in context.  He can see something interesting in almost anything he looks at.  I can remember being this way as a child and it makes me happy that he has such a great imagination.  

Zachary is a little bundle of surprise.  He gives me peace and hope.  My pregnancy and some of the circumstances surrounding it were miserable.  I was quite sure that Zachary was going to be a hellion.  I seriously didn't sleep from May to August and my whole body hurt.  I cried daily wondering what the heck I had done.  But on August 29th everything changed.  Zachary is a perfectly peaceful little guy.  So content all the time.  I was very sure that I had made a huge mistake in having a second child, but now I am so happy that I did.  Every time I see him smile I am reminded that things don't always turn out the way we planned, but often they turn out better.  He gives me hope that things always get better.  And that the hardest times and challenges in life bring about the most rewarding, beautiful outcomes.  

I learn so much from these precious boys! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Touch my soul

I am officially a sun worshiper!  Those bright happy rays soak into my skin and touch my soul. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rooster Dayz

I went home this weekend to see my nephew Wyatt perform in a middle school musical and my niece Jacy perform at Rooster Days.  Zachary spent the day with Nanny and Papa, so Nathan and I could play all day. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Village

For numerous reasons, I'm feeling a need to do a little series called, "It takes a village...". This saying originated in the Nigerian Igbo culture.  They have a proverb "Ora na azu nwa" which means it takes the community/village to raise a child. This is about my village.  There is no particular order.   Some of you I see almost everyday and some of you I haven't seen for years (you know who you are).  Thanks for making me who I am, loving me despite my numerous flaws, helping me be more self-accepting, and inspiring me to be a better person.  

She isn't the oldest daughter in her family, but for many reasons she took on that responsibility.  Her older sister, Linda, died of cancer when she was young.  My mother is strong willed and opinionated (which I occasionally give her a hard time for), but has gotten her much farther in life than I think she ever expected.  As far as her family goes, she is the rock, she has at one time or another supported almost every sibling both emotionally and financially.  She pretty much single handily took care of her parents when they got to be too sick to care for themselves.  I especially remember her care for my grandmother Margaret.  Margaret had Alzheimer's and needed increasing care.  There were lots of debates about what was best between mom and her siblings, but in the end Mom was really the only one willing to step up to the plate and do the hard work.  Taking care of her mom was exhausting and in many ways thankless.  Not to mention how sad it would be to watch your mother's health literally deteriorate before your eyes.

 For my sister and I, my mom has always been a source of strength.  We don't always agree on what is the best way to raise our children and from time to time this is a source of great distress for mom, but I know that she has always thoughtfully done what she thought was the absolute best for us.   And likewise gives us her best advise for our children. 

Sometimes, I give her a hard time about seeing the glass half empty instead of half full, but I still know that it comes from genuine concern for the people she loves. I've been pretty wrapped up in my own life for the past little while and she sends me texts asking why I never call my mother anymore.  Although I don't call her as often as I used to, I think of her everyday when I'm doing something demanding as a mom or wonder what mom would do in the same situation.   She is an amazing example of a supportive sibling, selfless mom and wive, and loyal, caring child. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Hero

Nathan's class took a field trip to the Fire Station this week.  He was such a cool kid! Check out that awesome hair! He answered all the questions before any other child even realized a question had been asked.  He gave the fire chief a slogan for fire safety, "Crawl under the smoke and don't Choke."  He even got the random Star Wars joke a fire fighter told.  I'm so proud!