Saturday, February 27, 2010

This girl

This girl has me. She has had me from the moment I laid eyes on her. Actually, she had me waaayyy before that night. I knew about her the instant she was. I just knew she was there. I was terrified. I was supposed to be a nice Catholic girl. I waited for 5 months to tell anyone about her. Actually, my mom guessed. She could see what was happening, though I had tried to pretend that my 115 pound self had suddenly ballooned out due to over eating. I pretended to overeat, trying to buy some time. We were going to tell everyone once we had a "plan". We were just having a really hard time coming up with the "plan". We were both in college. Part time jobs, no money. We thought about eloping and telling everyone when we got back. We thought about just telling everyone we were getting married, and then tell them about her. In the end we eloped, he left for the Navy, and then left us.

But, I had this girl. This amazing, perfect little girl. She and I used to sleep together every night. I loved having her cuddled up beside me, or on me. She used to sleep with her neck fitted across my throat. I'd wake up with wispy blond baby hair tickling my nose.

She was my side kick. She went everywhere with me. I transferred to a closer college so the commute would be easier. I found sitters for when I had to be in class, and she went with me to one of my jobs. On the weekends we would do whatever she wanted to do - watch Beauty and The Beast 752 times. Or read her beloved Dr. Suess books.

We fought a lot as she grew. She got sassy, and since she was homeschooled we often butted heads. She was messy and lazy and a smarty pants. She still is all of those things in a lot of ways.

She went to the public high school and sang, and acted and fell in love with choir and  theatre. I went to all of her concerts, musicals, plays, show choir. I loved every minute almost as much as she did. She was growing up to be a beautiful, talented young lady.

I was pregnant with our 9th child when she graduated from high school. It was surreal to be buying newborn items and dorm room stuff in one shopping trip. Thank goodness for Target!

I stared crying right around the time she was graduating. Granted, I had just given birth, but these tears were for her. I was so proud of her. I was mourning the loss of the little girl she used to be. I was dreading her moving out, away from me, even if it was only a short ways away. I was sad that her birth father had decided that this incredible person was not worth his time or interest. He missed a lot. Lucky girl, the man I married made her his daughter, and was there with me through every triumph and failure, every joy and sadness she ever experienced.

I finally quit crying about a month into her first semester. I still called way too often, but I was not crying anymore. Little did I know that she was missing home as much as we were missing her.  She was moving home at the end of the semester and would commute. I was so happy, I hardly knew if I should be so glad. I didn't want her to miss out on anything, but in the end she didn't like the 'antics' of the other girls in the dorm, or the fact that they never let her sleep.

So, she commutes every day, and at night sleeps in her own bed. She is messy, and leaves her trail behind her where ever she goes, which drives me nuts! If she is home she can almost always be found on her corner of the couch, with her pile of cups and plates, asleep, snuggled under the blanket all the kids fight over. I am so glad she is home, almost enough to not mind the mess. Almost. Neither one of us were quite ready for her to leave the nest.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Born Under A Lucky Star

Sometimes I think I have been too blessed. That somehow I was born under this lucky star. I have a beautiful marriage to a sweet, amazing man who has forgiven a rather nasty bout of Ebay addiction, among other things. We have all these beautiful, delicious kids who are for the most part, healthy, and happy. We are thriving.

We have a wonderful, supportive extended family who has been right there with us, through thick and thin. I have sisters. I cannot even begin to say what it means to me to have my sisters. They are my very best friends. This includes the fabulous girl my brother married. She feels like a sister to all of us. I think these girls deserve their own post, so I'll let it go at that - but just know I LOVE them!

My brother is of course, at one moment the typical brother, teasing, supportive, and all that, and the next moment, he is the boss man. He owns what can only be described as a family business, and we all work for the business. It is a web development firm, and we have been incredibly fortunate to have the business not only survive, but thrive during the economic downturn.

We have this incredible family, our parents have never, ever  not been there. They are usually our own 'first responders' to any joy or trauma. In many ways we had an idyllic childhood.

There are nearly 21 children in our family now, with the new babies that are on the way. It scares me a little. We have so, so much. They are all healthy,beautiful, amazing children.I love every single one more than I can say. It is almost too much for one heart to hold.
So with all of this, these many, many blessings, my cynical mind sometimes wonders how we can be so blessed. That maybe ours is coming. My mom says we have had our family tragedy,  her brother died in a bizarre accident at 31. It was horrible, and though I was very young, I remember it all very clearly. It was a tragedy. It was really bad, but in a way, we were very young and sort of removed. I pray, however, that she is right and that is the worst thing that ever happens.

I know that I wouldn't want to go through life without any trials or tribulations. And we've had our share. Kenzie was born with a congenital heart defect, and it was really, really scary for a while. She's since had surgery and is now very healthy. Jonah has a seizure disorder, and some learning disabilities, but we are handling those and he is doing very well. The other kids have had some odd thing here and there, some tubes in the ears, some minor surgeries. But overall, they are great.

So why do I sometimes feel as though I am waiting for the other shoe to drop? Is it possible to be too blessed? I know the Lord heaps His blessings upon those who trust in Him. I do trust in Him, and in Our Lady. The Blessed Mother has seen me through the worst moments in my life. I know she has asked her Son for favors on my behalf. I know the Lord will not send me anything I cannot handle, but I really, truly hope He does not think I am too strong. But, for now, I am going to revel in this feeling of having been born under a lucky star.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Like When We Were Dating...

So, my last post was this stupid, narcissistic post about whether or not I should even be a blogger, as I am a reasonably happy, stable person without a lot of trauma. Nor am I super zany or crazy, or any of the other things I have been reading on other blogs. Then I got a comment from a reader that made me realize the reasons I started this to begin with - my family, self expression, practice my writing, create a journal of sorts. Not for anyone else, really, though I have to admit to being a little (okay, totally) thrilled that a couple of people are reading it!

So, I am starting here. I figure it's kind of like when my husband and I first started dating. You know, you are on your 'best behavior'. You don't swear, you try to look good, attempt to not embarrass yourself. Basically giving the person you are dating a false first impression in hopes that they will ask you out again (or return to your blog!).

My husband and I had been on maybe three dates when I was talking to him on the phone one day, and my daughter Meggie did something that prompted me to call her a brat. He heard me. I realized what I had just said, and actually breathed a sigh of relief when he chuckled and asked what she had done. We had both been trying to portray ourselves as perfect parents who never yelled at their kids, never uttered a negative world, blah, blah, blah. So, the cat was out of the bag - I was uh, regular? I wasn't some super human, college student, young, single mother with two jobs who never uttered a bad word or crankiness of any kind. Whew!

Well, that's what I am going to do here from now on. I'm going to just say what I feel like saying, without fearing that I will alienate anyone, or make them mad, or make them not want to read again. Not that what I have posted in the past was in anyway false, it wasn't. But, I have not posted some things, worrying that they would be boring, or come off as judgmental, or too conservative (is there such a thing?), or whatever. So it's going to be no holds barred, people! Are you ready?! (You can see the dork-ness just oozing out of me, can't you?)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Should I Be a Blogger?

Ever since I started this blog, I have not been too sure what I should share here, just in case it was ever actually read by humans. Do I write about the tough stuff, blended family issues, parenting issues that can be pretty personal, or do I just write the things I planned to, like stories about the kiddos, and the little triumphs and defeats we meet each day?

I read a number of blogs, they are mostly what people would term "mommy blogs", but these women (and 1 dude) are all so vastly different, that I really feel like their blogs are nothing alike. Many of them have some sort of personal tragedy attached to them, so I wonder, am I drawn to these blogs, or what? These particular blogs seem to have many, many readers, so I think perhaps it is just  a matter of human nature. We empathize. We want to offer sympathy and support.

So that leads me to wonder, am I too boring, what with my mostly healthy kids, happy marriage and stable home life? I mean, we are big, but nothing too out of the ordinary goes on around here. My Winter Wonderland post, I mean come on - boring! Totally true, but utterly boring. I do spend large portions of my day in complete bliss over these kids. But alas, bliss is boring.

There are other blogs where the moms tease about being lazy or grumpy or just crazy, and I read and am entertained, and I do realize that they are probably no where near as lazy or crazy as they make out, and I am probably right up there with them, but can I really show that part of myself for the sake of a blog?

I think a blog should be about truth, otherwise, what's the point? Who would spend time just blabbing out a bunch of lies? So I have to wonder, do I really have anything to say?

Just so this post is not completely narcissistic, here's a little plug for my awesome brother in law, who has taken many of the kid pics on this blog: check out the most recent photo shoot (not everyone got pics this time, though).

Monday, February 8, 2010

Our Winter Wonderland

I should be doing school right now. We should be in the middle of science with Jonah and Jenna while Kolbe works on poetry and Kenzie reads by herself. But, my Kolbe woke up this morning, bursting to get outside into all that that sparkling snow. He and Jonah and Jenna hatched a plan last night to build an igloo. They were going to build tunnels under the snow and create thier own snowy castle. Kolbe started bugging me first thing this morning. 'Can I go out now? How about now? Has it warmed up enough yet?"  I never let them go out if it is too, too cold, so I made him wait until it had warmed up to 15 degrees.
They are all out there, with Luke and Ben, digging away, making bricks, and creating thier own little world. I know there are more 'important' things they should be doing, but the snow beckoned, and I let them go.
We live in Ohio, and it is not terrribly often that we get so much snow all at once. We tend to get a little snow often, and a lot of snow once in a while. So, for this afternoon, I am going to let them learn about science in the snow, architecture in their own building plans, and about taking the moments when they are offered, especially when it comes in a beautiful, cold, sparkly afternoon just waiting for little imaginations to fulfill them.
So, while we should be doing school, or independent reading, or chores, one of the reasons we homeschool is so we can take advantage of these simple pleasures God offers every so often.

There will be plenty of time for all of those things after I get them back inside, give them some hot chocolate, as that is a requirement after an afternoon in the snow! These kids are so much fun, and while I am not wanting to be one of those mommy bloggers where everything is sunshine and snowmen, today, that's just what we are... and I am incredibly grateful.