Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Last Times

You have graduated. 


And all I can do is see this...
When did we exchange Cinderella party hats for graduation hats?  

When was the last time you put on a party hat?  The last time you believed when you blew out those candles your wish really would come true?

When was the last time I washed you hair?  If I would  have known it was the last time, I would not have been so hurried.  I would have relished it.  I would have slowed down.  I would have just looked at you...a little longer.

I don't remember the last time I wiped your face. Or when I stopped carrying your diaper bag...when did you not need that anymore?  I am certain I breathed a sigh of relief to not have to drag that bag around anymore.  If I would have known it was the last time, I would have taken a little extra care in packing it.  I would have wiped your face a little more gently.  I would have kissed each cheek a little longer.  If I would have known it was the last time..

When was the last time we carried you to bed?  One day you were too big to carry.  
I cannot remember.  
If I could go back I would have held you longer.  Held you tighter.  Sang you one more song.  Snuggled 10 minutes longer.  Given you that last drink of water.  Watched you sleep all night.  
If I would have know it was the last time...

Remember the Itsy Bitsy Spider?  You sang it with Nana ALL THE TIME.  Your little fingers were adorable.  You loved to WASH the spider out.  We would giggle.  When was that last time we sang it?  I am sure you asked....and I was busy.  Did you just stop asking?  I remember singing it SO much, but there was a last time....and I, for the life of me, cannot remember.  

There was a last Trick or Treat...

A last time you asked me to hold you in the water because you were scared.  
I want to hold you again.  
I KNOW I said I wanted you independent so I could lay in a chair and read a book....but I never did that.  
Holding you was better.  
A million times better.  

Remember how you use to wake us up at the crack of dawn?  I just wanted to sleep!  Now I cannot get YOU out of bed.  Do you remember the last time you tip toed into my room and I pulled you up to snuggle?  I don't.  I wish I did.  I wish I would have known it was the last time.  I would have smelled your hair.  And nuzzled your neck.  And kissed your toes.  I didn't know it was the last time.  

I rushed it.  I wanted to get to the next stage.  Because it would be easier.  I wished for...
all night sleeping
no diapers
no car seat
no babysitter
no baby.

And soon.  You were there.  Grown up.

And  now that I watch you sitting on the couch this morning, texting your friends...oblivious to the last summer, I wonder when the last time will be....
the last time to sleep under my roof, 
the last time you tell me what time you will be home
the last time you walk into my bedroom and tell me how your date went
the last time you will leave your stupid dirty dishes in the sink
the last time you will kiss me bye in front of your friends.... I hope I relish these last times.  
This last summer.

Because soon you will have babies of your own. And a mortgage to pay.  And decisions to make.  A heartbreak to feel.  And you will be grown up.

And one day...many years from will look at me, and realize....this may be the last time.  The last time we kiss.  The last time we hold hands.  The last time I tell you I love you...that you are more than enough.  That one of my brightest days was when I saw your eyes that day at the zoo.  One day will be our last time.  And when that comes, I am so blessed that you are mine and I am yours and we spent so many last times of our lives together.

I love you.
Through all the last times.

Friday, October 3, 2014

What a Difference You've Made In My Life

I have always struggled with contentment.  Once I reach a goal I am wondering, what's next?  Is there more?  Can it get better?  Is this ENOUGH?

Even though I am always looking for the next thing... I thought, I was content.  But sometimes, just sometimes, even I can be stunned.  To my core.

A little over a year ago I was having some "weird" symptoms.  I was pretty sure it was a cyst.  I mean, I looked it up on WebMD so I was 99,9% sure I was right.  I mean, WebMD was ALWAYS right... right?  So I went to the doctor and let him know, "I have a cyst."  What I have found is my doc really likes it when I self diagnose.  I mean it saves him time and all.  I am thoughtful like that.  I was very matter of fact.  No bones about it.  Cyst.  Period.  It went something like this...

Me:  I have a cyst.
Doc:  How do you know?
Me:  WebMD...duh!
Doc: Well, let's run some test.
Me:  We don't need to.  I have a cyst.
Doc: Well, I have the results.
Me:  Cyst?
Doc:  No....

Shut the front door.  I didn't believe him.  No way.  I was certain a cyst could mask itself in the form of pregnancy.  I think I read about that once...on WebMD. 

Me:  Well, my cyst is releasing hormones that are showing a false pregnancy
Doc:  That can't happen.
Me:  Uhm.  What year did you get your medical license?
Doc:  1982.
Me:  Exactly.  It is a cyst.  

So, he sent me to an OBGYN.  Maybe it was because he just wanted to get rid of me.  Maybe because he knew EVERYONE who has a cyst has to go to an OBGYN.  I mean even the 1982 graduates knew that.  Bless his heart.  

I understood his rational.  OBGYN. They dealt with cyst all the time.  I went in.  No worries.  And she told me... You are pregnant.

Me:  I KNOW -- crazy thing, right?  The deal is...I am not pregnancy.  I have a cyst.  It is just showing as a false pregnancy.
OBGYN:  Okay. Let's do an ultrasound.
Me:  GREAT.  Finally.  
OBGYN:  See that.  See that flicker?  It is a heartbeat.  Cysts don't have heartbeats. 

At that time my world stood still.  Pregnant.  At my age.  Strollers.  Car seats.  Bottles.  Baby sitters.  Spit up.  I was out of all those stages.  I now wore 3 inch heels and wore black everywhere.  I was not ready for a BABY!

I was in denial.  I mean...I went MONTHS.  You couldn't really tell, right?  I think it kind of looked like I just ate a bean burrito...or two.

 But then, slowly but surely it started to sink in.  I was growing life within me...

 And there were three VERY excited spawn that was ready to add one more life to the mix.
 And 8 months I was.  Ready to bring another Twerp into the fold.
 And by NINE months...I was REALLY ready.
 Even my ankles cried forth to the gods of mercy.

 Then, on a sunny day, this happened.  This amazing miracle.
 And it just didn't seem real,
 until they laid her in my arms.
 And someone tried to steal the show...Lord help me.
 And I realized.  We were finally complete.  Our final baby had arrived...
 and our hearts....
 and family...
I think even she was surprised...  Like, What are you talkin about Willis?  They have how many kids?
But you know what she taught me?  God is never done with blessings. 
  He is knows  more than you know and delivers what you never even knew you needed.
 Because this child.  Oh, this child...
 Has brought a light and love to our family that we never knew was missing.
She turned our world upside down.
And made us have So.  Much.  Fun!

And made us realize.  No matter how much we plan.  No matter how much we know.  No matter how much we control.  Sometimes, just sometimes.  God knows better.
And after a military retirement.
And a move back home to the land that flows with milk and honey.
And the love surrounded by family...
We are now compete  And content.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Annual Cranberry Eating Contest - Is this the 5th Year?

Well here we are again.  Another year of decorating, baking, wrapping, and the ever so popular Cranberry Eating Contest.  I take great comfort in knowing families across America pause on Christmas Eve to partake in the age-old tradition of Cranberry Eating.  

I'm sorry -- what?  What is that you say?  YOU do not participate in the cranberry tradition?  Well, get with it honey child.  Everybody is doin it.  And yes, if they jumped off a bridge I just might do it to.  If there were paparazzi and attention.  Cause we all know how I feel about attention.


Back to the Contest.  This year was like none other.  The final was a record breaking outcome and we even had to add some new rules to the event.

Middle Twerp started us off (MT) and boy was he geared up and ready.  He had been training his palette that day eating a few cranberries here and there for conditioning.  He wanted no one to see him training.  He was trying to hide his skills.

Please no paparazzi in the training room.
It's on like Donkey Kong
Plus he was talking smack.  Which made us all want to beat him even more.  

Eldest Twerp was fairly confident in her skillz as well.  Confidence is not a character trait lacking in our family.  Some call it vain.  I always respond "you probably think this blog is about you...don't you?  Don't you?"  Then I give them a bunt cake and some sweet tea in fear I hurt their feelings.  
 Everyone made it through the first round with smiles on their faces.
 Pretty much....
 For the most part...
I am just sayin...  Some of us are more seasoned than others....

 Not to brag or anything...but you probably think this blog is about you.  I KID.  I KID.
We were well into the game....  Everyone had survived round after round (Nana sat this year out) -- so we had to step it up a notch.    We were going to allow the person before you to CHOOSE your cranberry for you.

What are you talkin about Willis?

It's in....
And it is...

GOOD -- the smile got her through another round...

Next ET got to pick one for BT -- please note BT is our reigning champion.  Believe me, he has not let us forget about it.  Or fogetta boutee  -- as my Uncle Vito says.  

It's in...
Oh, can he hold the smile?
It's not looking good....
Oh help us Lord Jesus, the judge showed mercy on his sweet precious soul.

And, of course, I made it through..
 It's like a walk in the park I tell ya.

 Another round of smiles...

And on we go...

 Until this....  I swear it was the saddest thing of all my born days.

BT had picked out my cranberry.

And you would think that the mother of this child would have shown grace and mercy upon the woman who spent hours in labor bringing him forth into this world....

You would be wrong.
This child showed no mercy.
 But I am strong...
More than a conquer...
Help me baby Jesus...
Sweet Elizabeth, I'm coning home...
 It was a sad day in the universe as I was out.

And then there were four..

MT rocked it through...

 ET sailed with flying colors....

 And G-pa.....
Well bless his heart.  

 And then there were three....

Was BT up for the sour cranberry?
That is a pucker face if I ever have seen one in all my born days...

You are OUT....  
 We needed some solace from G-pa.  He understood.

And then there were two...  MT and ET...

It was neck and neck --

 For three more rounds...

 The berry selection was ever so careful...

 Yet time and time again, smiles remained...
 After many more rounds....a few glasses of wine and slices of cake (Hypothetically speakin and all)

 (and a few close calls)

The judge was ready for his ruling...
 Anticipation swelled as each argued their position.
 But in the end there were CO CHAMPIONS..

Both ET and MT took the title home for 2012...
 And I may or may not have helped myself to another piece of carrot cake.  Hypothetically speakin and all.