Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Newburgh And Beyond.








 












 on my moms last day here last week, we thought it would be a great idea to just drive around and take it all in before she headed back home. we started off in Newburgh, up and down the streets where the homes face the water. we made our way to Washington's Headquarters and took our time walking through the tall summer grasses and looking at that view. after that we jumped back in the car and drove 15 miles south to Bear Mountain, made our way to the top, stopping for a baby deer, and picking some raspberries. 

so much beauty. and also, i miss my mom. 




Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pickles!





                                      

 





 last week, when my mom and sister were here, i was going through my e-mail and saw an invite to a pickle party from one of my favorite local farms here. i thought it would be so fun for us to do all together! and it was!!! it was right around dusk and the barn was nice and cool inside and after we were finished we walked the grounds while the chickens followed us around and the rooster crowed. it was such a beautiful evening.  a few days later we ate our pickles at dinner together. Lars was a fan of the lemon cucumbers i picked and all that fresh dill! oh gosh, my hands smelled like dill the rest of that night. i was really happy about that:)

now i'm on a pickling kick! i think i'm gonna pickle some more cucumbers soon along with carrots, and green beans, and anything else i come across. pickles for days! this is also something i'm going to let each one of my kids be in charge of. i will set up a space just like they did in the above pictures, and let each child create their own versions.

okay, now i'm off to eat a pickle. i can't even think about them without craving more.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Dune and Lars Turn 4!

























it's quiet this morning. i've got the first of the many loads of laundry going, bathrooms are cleaned, and cartoons are on in the background. my mom and sister have flown home to Florida and this morning it's just us again. it was a whirlwind of memories and birthdays, good food, swimming, and just being together. today it's all captured in my heart as i go about my chores and think how much i miss them.

above are pictures from a little birthday party we threw for dune and lars and then the lake pictures are from their birth day. we had a great party and the rain held out so we could all be outside. i decorated and kept all the food indoors just incase the skies decided to open up! they never did, thankfully. the boys received so many awesome presents and gifts they will actually grown into and use, like a basketball hoop, and soccer nets and balls, and backpacks! we are truly blessed by the friends and family we have!

we took the boys swimming on their birthday to a lake about 45 minutes away from here. there wasn't a cloud in the sky that day and temperatures were in the 90's! the kids were so happy to be wet for a good part of the day. the day before this was my birthday and we went swimming that day too. and the most amazing thing happened! dune and lars taught themselves to swim! i didn't even know kids were capable of teaching themselves to swim, but with a lot of determination, bravery, and watching a big sis know how to do it, they learned! so on their birthday they literally swam for hours and hours, barely coming to the surface. we had to convince them to eat lunch and promise them they could get right back in the water. after many hours in the sun we drove home with two tired FOUR year olds only to walk in my house and see that my dad had decorated our entire dining room, top to bottom, in birthday decorations! we ordered pizza, laughed, sang, and cut into the giant ice cream cake that my dad had also bought. it was awesome and dune and lars felt loved because they are loved. graycen kept saying that everyday last week was, "the best day of my life!" and ya know, i think i can agree.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dune and Lars, You Are My Joy.







Dear Dune and Lars, 

        These words i am about to write are about as personal and difficult as i know how to feel. but regardless, here they are. 
        Last night i was in target picking up the last of the party supplies for your birthday party tomorrow (oh my gosh you are turning four the two of you!!!!) . i was checking out in line and the next row over  i saw the tiniest, most wrinkled little hand waving around wildly in a car seat. snug as a bug it was a new born baby. of course the baby caught my attention, but where my focus quickly zeroed in on was the new mom. she looked young, maybe her early twenties, and her mom was with her. the new mom was dressed in a hoodie and pajama bottoms and looked swollen and tired and blissfully happy. i think they may have stopped on the way home from the hospital because i know that look. that look of weary, wonderful new motherhood and that mother was wearing it all over. they finished up and walked out and i focused back on what i was doing, grabbing the batman masks out of my cart and handing them to the cashier. those masks suddenly looked so big, will they not fit? then i saw the age on them was 4+ and realized you two are not babies anymore. i paid for my things and walked outside where the sky was a hot pink and it was getting dark, the fireflies were out and i climbed into the car. i started to weep. i held my belly and got a little mad at myself. i got mad at my body for not working, for missing so much of your first year, for not getting time back, for never being able to be pregnant again. on the way home my sadness lifted as i began to worship Jesus and thank him for you two. 
       Your birthday's are always a hard thing for me. It's this time of year that serves as a reminder that i am less of a woman than most of my peers. that my body doesn't work the way it should and that i can never remember any details of your very first birthday. i know i was there, but i just can't remember. see, i came home from chemo that day, the day you both turned one and your aunt dani and GG (my mom) helped me on the couch. i do remember the motions of everyone coming in and out of the house, setting up the porch, where they would later walk me out to sit in a chair while we sang you both into your second year of life. i do remember that later that night i felt a stinging pain in my heart not knowing if this might possibly be all that i get of you two. 
       But this morning, as i woke up, i raised my shirt and put on a new patch, the one i wear for medicine to make my body work better, and i thought about all i have to do tomorrow to make your birthday party special. and then i started thinking how eventually, you both might not remember much of these birthdays, you might fail to remember the details, but the one thing i know you will look back on a never forget is that i was there. for all of them. 
       So boys, the real gift is not on your birthday, the real gift comes the next day on my birthday, and that my loves, are your lives. you are both a reminder that God still does miracles, that life can grown from and in the midst of death fighting for it. that this old body i carry around in a young age is in fact a beating heart that can still love passionately, wake up and make you a hot breakfast, kiss your pains, teach you about your loving Creator, and do it all again the next day. 
      Happy Birthday Dune and Lars! you are my joy! you are both unique in this family yet bonded together in an experience i consider myself most blessed to be a part of. i hope tomorrow is the most fun you've ever had, i hope you squeal with laughter and jump when you open your gifts. i hope you never doubt for a second that the fact that i am alive still is no more amazing than the fact that you two are too! you grew and thrived in the midst of many tumors, yet you grew. and you grew. and you grew. and on tuesday you both turn four. 

   oh, how i love you. Happy Birthday!
                    
                                                                 Love, Mama

"I will love you when you are a still day. I will love you when you are a hurricane." - C. Von Radics
 
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