Sunday, October 31, 2010


I remember being a young(er) mom with two tiny kids and not much to do. I remember telling a friend that if I ever went anywhere it was a place where I had to spend money. I couldn't wait for those days to be over, and for my days to be filled with tons of things to do and places to go.

After this past week I wish so badly I could transport myself back 5 years so I could enjoy the non-busyness and could once again just be with my kids at home, playing, reading and singing songs all day. Between school, dance class, teaching art lessons, school meetings, church stuff, Macie's bday, a field trip, getting chewed out over email, a parade and being heavily involved in two Halloween parties, the only chances I had to sit down this week were when I was feeding Tanner.

But, my cute baby perfected his pout...

And I think it's pretty cute. And cute pout = spoiled baby.

And these three had, perhaps, the most fun non-Halloween ever.

We got a bounce house and had a party here. By the end of the night Tyler looked like he hadn't slept in days. Tanner missed out on jumping but he had lots of people to smile at. And cute Emma, wanting to "match" Tanner, decided to be a pumpkin princess. Love that girl.

Was it me or did October completely fly by? Oh well; Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I can't fathom the fact that I should have a sweet little girl turning 2 today.

So, instead of being all sad, I decided to write about Sandy. I don't think I have mentioned on this blog the little "tender mercy" we experienced with regard to her.

But let me start at the beginning. On that warm October day just two years ago was when we met Sandy. She is a baby nurse at the hospital. The charge nurse had come and told her there was a fetal demise and that she needed to go to the operating room. She didn't want to; who would want to?! But she did. I remember when she brought Macie to me after I was in a recovery room. She held her small body with such care and love. She told me her weight and her length and, crying, handed her to me as if she were a squirming, living newborn. Right before I was discharged from the hospital she told me she wanted to see me back there at some point in the future.

Well, 2 weeks before Tanner was born, as I quietly lay in the hospital room during a non-stress test, loving every second of hearing his heartbeat, Sandy walked into the room. I was surprised to see her and she quickly asked if I remembered her. Of course I did!  She started crying (as did I) as she told me how glad she was to see me back. She told me she had been waiting for me to come back and would periodically look for my name in the patient files. We were both excited to find out she would be the baby nurse on call on July 15th, the day of my scheduled c-section.

Then Sandy wanted to talk about Macie. The tears got bigger as she said she remembered that day so clearly. She even told me just last week that she will never forget that day, and that she remembers it like it was yesterday.
She said, "Giving her to you was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But taking her back from you was harder."

Sandy then told me that after we gave Macie back to her that afternoon, she sat down on a chair in another room and cried. She cried that such bad things had to happen to such nice people. I'm sure I would have done the same thing. But Spencer and I were in another room, together, experiencing little miracles, miracles that somehow got us through the trial.

Sandy has become an angel in our lives. I was blessed to have her with me when Tanner was born. She let me lean on her as the spinal was injected into my back. She sat next to me and constantly asked how I was feeling. When Spencer and I heard Tanner's cry we both choked back tears. Tears of relief. Tears of gratitude. Tears that clearly said He's alive. Sandy got him and instantly brought him over to show me before cleaning him off. She made sure I knew he was perfect, to calm my fears. She took him (and Spencer) to the recovery room to wait for me. When I finally got to recovery I got to watch her, once again, hold my precious child with such care. This time it was Tanner that she bathed and handed to me. Once again I was so grateful for her kindness and sensitivity.  I know it helped her to see us come full circle. She will forever have a special place in my heart, as the angel who watched over two of my angels.

So today, we are celebrating the short life of our little daughter/sister. Spencer is taking the day off. We will throw her a bday party, send her some balloons, and all hug each other (and especially little Tanner) a little tighter. What a blessing she is to our family, and to some otherwise complete strangers.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

fruits (or vegetables) of my labors

So, if I can pretty much throw some stuff together (stuff = dirt, seeds, water) and grow a massive garden, I guess anyone can do it. After recognizing that I might have a domestic bone in my body after all, Spencer told me he's going to start calling me Betty.
Here's what we got this year:
  • About 350 tomatoes, Roma and Beefsteak. Originally we had 6 tomato plants and 3 were eaten by gophers. For once I'm grateful for those darn gophers! When the plants started to get out of control my dear friend suggested canning them (huh?) and then even took the time to do it with me so I could learn. Then she gave me an awesome salsa recipe. And, this week we made and canned marinara sauce. I'm going to start calling her Martha. (We also canned peaches! But we decided that is NOT worth the work. Good to know.)
  • 12 spaghetti squash. When the big leaves were covering part of the lawn for just too long Spencer picked them all (slightly before they were ripe). Lesson learned for next year. (They still tasted good.)
  • About 45 strawberries. The kids loved getting to eat a strawberry every day or two.
  • 15 carrots.
  • 10 pumpkins. Perfect for the next couple months! And I'm excited the kids get their own, grown in our very own garden.
  • About 50 zucchini. While I was in the hospital they grew a ton and by the time my mom was here and started picking them they were enormous. One was as long as my arm, and much fatter - about 10 pounds! Needless to say, we eat lots of zucchini around here. And we learned how to make a really yummy dish ("goulash") with all of it, in addition to some other veggies.
  • The cantaloupe starter we planted went nowhere and died. For the second year in a row. I'll need to figure out what I'm doing wrong.
I'd say it was a successful summer out in the backyard!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

the prowl

Man, I hate to run. I like the idea, but I hate actually doing it. This is ironic since I come from a family of runners. I have started it again - finally - because I'm trying to lose about 5 lbs but as I was telling a friend, "Once those pounds are gone, I am done!" I have a love/hate relationship with that treadmill.

I guess I should be happy that our school's one fundraiser a year isn't selling anything, but instead that it's a run.  I love how excited these two have been for weeks in anticipation, wondering just how far their little legs could carry them.

The school wants the kids to get pledges, to collect money for how many laps they run. Since I am not comfortable at all soliciting money for something like this (or ever, for that matter), Spencer and I just make a small flat donation. And that way, we're not out big bucks when our little speed demons run way further than we thought they could (like Emma last year).

In true form, Emma left another note for us last night, and at the end asked if Spencer could come watch her run. So he moved things around, worked from home, and was even on a conference call during her race (yay for headphones). Tyler ran in the morning, when it was still cool. That kid was a maniac and didn't stop running for the entire 25 minutes! He ran 9 laps around that track (2+ miles), while Spencer and I watched in amazement. I even told him he could walk if he wanted but he looked at me like I was crazy and kicked it up a notch.

Emma ran in the afternoon. She was more concerned about high-fiving all the kids who lined up to watch, as well as talking to her friends, so she did 7 laps. Maybe I need to take them out running with me; the conversation would be interesting and I would be too embarrassed to stop early. And I just might enjoy it a little more.

Thanks kids; way to show me up.