My Sister’s Wedding

My gorgeous sister, Leah, got married Saturday, and everything about her wedding and reception was perfect. I loved that it was all very “her” and also very “him” from the Timberwolves theme (both basketball lovers, they happened to meet at a Timberwolves game) to the groomsmen’s blue Air Jordans.

I may have ugly-cried (okay, I did) when Leah interrupted her wedding ceremony right before she and Jeremiah said their vows and surprised all of us (even the Pastor) with THE most beautiful speech of proposal to her stepdaughter. It was so thoughtful, loving and authentic. Even the groom was in tears.

Here is her surprise speech:

I was not there when you took your first steps or said your first words. But I promise I won’t miss a first of anything again. in the past two years I’ve watched you lose your first tooth, ride a bike for the first time, graduate kindergarten, become a big sister, learn how to do your first cart wheel, and continue to grow into an amazing young woman. I am not here to replace anyone nor will I try to. I will be the best I can to you and your daddy. I promise to love you as if you were my own, to protect you, to listen to you, and to always support your dreams. I promise to cherish every moment we spend together but most of all I promise to love you unconditionally. I am so thankful that you are sharing your daddy with me. You have touched my heart in a way that you can’t understand. I may not have given you life but life has given me you. Will you officially take me as your stepmom by accepting this charm bracelet?

I was delighted to be included as a bridesmaid Leah’s wedding. Each of the bridesmaids were beautiful, gracious, smart, endearing, fun.

I couldn’t be happier for Leah and her awesome husband, Jeremiah. I am thrilled for their two beautiful kids. I am thrilled for my family too. We gained a brother/uncle and niece/cousin. Like I said at the reception, when I was a little girl, my Dad asked me to pray that he wins the lottery and I prayed for a little sister for myself. Truly, I won the lottery when Leah was born. She’s exceeded all of my dreams and imagination.

Staying home

The fresh cold air fills me with gratitude for my current freedom and privilege of staying home with my little ones.

Without a doubt, motherhood is deeply challenging. I constantly worry about the kids’ development, as I find myself challenged by their behavior and at a loss for how to respond to tantrums. I feel really frustrated when my school-aged children try to negotiate with me or ask me “why” rather than immediately obeying me.

I’m an imperfect work in progress. And as a mother of six children, I am humbled by how much I don’t know. Every time I think I have things under control or know about parenting, I’m humbled and reminded that I don’t control anything but I DO have free will to respond to any person or situation with love or with frustration and impatience. I often choose to respond with the latter with my own children. Today I’m going to try to be calmer and slower to respond. I am going to try channel the feelings of appreciation I had this morning to be a loving teacher.

As I pulled the two youngest kids around our house on a sled this morning, I felt thankful, blessed and energized. Thankful for the legs and feet that carry me, the body strong and healthy enough to pull the sled through the snow without pain or difficulty, Sir William Wallace (our collie) prancing along side us, the pure joy and delight in my kids’ eyes and their gut giggles when we speed down a slope, the beautiful trees around us, the cold crisp air that is fresh and pure to breathe. Exhilarating, beautiful, peaceful . . . I pray for grace to appreciate the abundance of blessings that have been poured down upon me.

Deployment Day 1

Today was a melancholy day. We miss Dylan so much already. I didn’t prepare a menu ahead of time this week, so we had breakfast for dinner (banana chocolate chip pancakes, sausages, eggs, bacon). The kids were hungry and enjoyed dinner with cheerful attitudes. I really enjoyed hearing about their days and appreciated their table manners (which are often lacking, to be honest). “I miss Dad so much already,” was something I heard about a million times today. It brought me joy and gratitude each time.