Saturday, July 31, 2010

Exploring Our Feminine Side

Okay, now usually I can't get the boys to keep a hat on their head.  They wouldn't take this one off!!!  I wonder if they still have these at Target.  I may want to get a couple.

Picking flowers.
"Awww!  For me?!  Thanks Sam!"

I took the boys for a playdate with Miss Avery and they had lots of fun playing with all her great toys!

Here's Sammy dragging the pink wagon around the yard.

And here are both of my boys screaming and crying over who gets to have...not the girl...but the pink wagon!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Thoughts on Gloria

So I now have all of my appliances installed and working in my kitchen and have begun the process of moving in.  My new kitchen is coming together...and I am coming unglued.

Grief is such a strange and unpredictable thing.  I can go an entire week and think that I'm doing just fine.  My standard answer when people ask how I'm doing is "I'm okay."  And really, I do believe this when I say it.  But every once in a while, I'll be in some inopportune place (say at a barbeque in someone's backyard) and a friend will innocently ask, "How are you?"  And just as my canned answer is about to come out of my lips...WHAM!  A rogue wave of grief BODY SLAMS me and I suddenly find it difficult just to breathe much less answer the question.  I try desperately to distract myself as the tears well up in my eyes and hope that the person asking doesn't notice the thickness in my voice as I lie..."I'm okay."

It's just never the right time or place.   I see my children wail and cry in such a satisfying display of raw emotion over something as simple as his brother taking his toy, and I can't seem to allow myself to do the same...just let it all out.  Instead it slips out a little here, a little there.  I know it takes time and not much has passed since my beautiful auntie left us.  I guess you can't schedule grief.  You just have to roll with it when it comes.

One of my favorite books to read to the boys says at the very end "And if I had a million days, and time enough for all the praise, I couldn't tell you all the ways I love you." So today I'm going to write about one of the many things I loved about Auntie Gloria.  Here's a really important one: she always strove to be beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.

When Gloria was a young child, my grandmother quickly saw that she was going to be exceptionally beautiful.  Not wanting her to grow up spoiled by her looks, she would tell her "Pretty is as pretty does." Isn't that smart?  I believe Gloria really took Grandma's wise words to heart.

My mother recently shared with me that when she was little she asked her older and wiser sister "How do you make friends?" and Gloria answered, "Well, you just smile at everyone."  How sweet is that?  That is exactly what I always saw her do.  She smiled and she listened and she responded graciously to others even when they were not being so nice themselves.  I have often heard stories of how much people liked her who didn't even know her well.

Like the man who used to go to my church.  When he found out my mom was Gloria's sister he felt compelled to share that he had always liked her...that even though he wasn't one of the popular kids, she was always nice to him.  That may seem small, but her kindness must have really impacted him to remember that decades after the fact.

This picture cracks me up because it is so pouty and so NOT the way I ever remember my auntie being.  She was known as Allison by now and had begun her career in modeling.

At her memorial, which was beautiful by the way, the one thing that was said the most about her was that she was a great listener and truly cared about what was going on in other peoples lives...that it was so apparent that their happiness was really important to her.  No surprise that this was my experience with her as well.

I had the blessing and privilege of working with my auntie for several years.  She is the one who got me the job where I still work to this day.  I treasure the times I got to spend with her that never would have happened had I not taken that job.  I got to know her not only as an aunt, but as a friend.  Sometimes we would go out to lunch to catch up on life, but most of the time, we would just talk here and there as we went through our day.  And she would always take time to really listen to how I was doing and what was going on in my life.  Which leads me to wonder, did I do the same for her???

(Here she's holding my children with her daughter, Kym.)

I am often so distracted while talking to others, especially these days with toddlers running in different directions at all times.  If I take my attention off of them for a heart beat, one of them inevitably ends up taking a nose dive off of some unacceptably high place.  Scrapes and bruises, bellows and tears ensue.  No.   I need to set aside purposeful time and work to really listen to the people around me.  I want to be more like Gloria(or Allison as I came to know her at work).  I want people to walk away from a conversation with me feeling listened to and cared for.  Something to strive for.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Coming Soon...

Here's a picture of my almost kitchen...

Tomorrow I get my refrigerator and dishwashers.  Now to begin the daunting task of figuring out how to organize my cupboards.  And, of course, I'm going to have to change the way I shop and cook from pre-packaged, microwaveable to real recipe ingredients.  Wooohoo!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

18 months already???

The boys turned 18 months last week.  Jeff took them for their doctor visit by himself!  Super Dad!!!

Of course I had to send him with a page full of questions for the doctor and instructions to write EVERYTHING down.  He was very dutiful and I received a page full of notes at the end of the day.

Here's a recent picture of the boys since I haven't posted any for awhile...

We can now officially move them into front facing car seats.  We've really pushed it keeping them in the infant seats for so long but boy did we get our money's worth out of those!  Besides, at their last appointment Sammy was just a hair shy of the required 20 lbs to be able to be forward facing.  Now we are on the hunt for the perfect seats that will last them a long long long long time...seeing as kids apparently need boosters till they practically graduate highschool these days!!!  Especially our two who continue to be very little for their age.  I think they ended up in the 25th percentile for height (5th for weight).  But they've got gigantic brains cuz their head size is in the 50th and 60th!  Ha ha!  

My little bobble heads!