Saturday, December 31, 2011


Yesterday, I forgot to shave one leg, a lion peed on my friend's shoes, and I held the hand of a child in the  middle of a fight for their life. In that order.

Geez, 2011- you sure have been unique.

Always a guessin' and boatloads of new...













Thanks for the ride, 2011 can't wait to meet your spunky friend, 2012.


I have come to realize that there are moments of kiddie-living in which the stars align juuuust right and you capture it all in a perfect collection of family pictures.  Pockets of time, really.

Very deep, rarely found, too-busy-chasing-my-naked-kid-around-the-house pockets of time.

All this is yet another reminder that I am exactly where I want to be. Fuzzy pictures, waist deep in this chaotic muck of life with littles. Squishy-faced, far too loud, hiding my keys under their beds just to see Mommy's crazy face sorts of living. A family-filled holiday with very little pictures to show for it...  out of pocket, running around, wrapped up in all that silly fun with family. Could it get any better?

Our sole attempt at a posed family picture

was immediately forgotten in a candid moment of sibling love.

 Shoes off, I sat back and soaked up my holiday-living where babies rule all

 and the littlest man really can get all the ladies.

Opportunities for surprise
and twinkly goodness
 felt like a present all wrapped up in an extra dose of Christmas magic.

 Amazing bed head,
 very first handbag,
ride my bike through the house in jammies types of magic.
Somewhere between the travel,

the multi-tasking,
the special visits
and master plans

we were just swept up in Christmasy love.

An out-of-pocket holiday. You know, the good kind of special.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Molly Meal

In the wee hours of morning on a quiet ED shift in the wake of holiday hoopla, I finally find time to process through the immensity of my morning with Molly. Hours later, I still feel the tugging at my heartstrings, ever so gently reminding me to hold close to my memory of today for the rest of my lifetime. As if I could ever forget.

An awareness to the needs around you is often the combination of a mindful spirit and a heart for service. For some, this just comes naturally while with others it takes a little added effort to grow.

Molly entered this world with a flair for the dramatics and a love for all things fancy.

While our world can be quick to label this as sassy, bratty or worse... what often gets overlooked is a quiet willfulness wrapped up in heart of kindness, awaiting opportunities to grow.

Cultivate that.

This is our role as parents. Celebrate the uniqueness of your child and provide them with opportunities to grow ever so greatly into this vast world around them. Show them what it is to live by teaching them what it is give of their talents. To love. To lead.

Empower them.

"A Molly Meal" was the result of a hair full of suds and a mouthful of apple. For all the things that may take effort, talking about her plans is not one of them. Somewhere between chewing and scrubbing were discussions on the importance of cleanliness, nourishment and rest. With these discussions came the acute awareness that some people are severely lacking in these most basic needs.

Talk about planting a seed of service.

Today marked my heart. It was a morning spent discussing big thoughts of her world all the while looping the bridges of Austin delivering food for the homeless. My fancy gal... and her beautiful heart. Presents smechents. This morning, was my most favorite gift.

"Intense love does not measure, it just gives."

Mother Theresa

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sibling giving

Our kids have no concept of money and quite honestly, I sort of love this... for now. So far we haven't had to introduce allowances or anything as some sort of incentive to help around the house. Hand them a broom or deem one of them tablewasher and good luck trying to get them to stop. If only I could hone it to a more functional clean. Oh, the possibilities.

Now, sharing and giving? Yes, this is something that they can wrap their brains around. I would love to sit here and let you believe that my children are the best at sharing and giving in the world but then that really wouldn't do much to explain why our Elf on the Shelf refused to return back to Casi di Maggio one night this week. It was THAT bad. Sharing is a consistent work in progress.

As a parent, this has become one of my favorite challenges. Taking a small dose of autonomy, their giant imaginations and mixing it up in a moment of premeditated kindness and voila. I mean really, how can the end result not be straight out of a hallmark card?

Now that our children are getting older, we have started a tradition where every Christmas each one of them takes their own piggy bank to the store to buy something for the other. This definitely could be tweaked to just creating something too. While our kids have no concept of money they do like to collect it to feed their piggies. Diminishing their piggie food supply for the sake of their brother/sister is a great opportunity to practice the art of giving.

Who knew that one little shopping trip would open the door on such great ideas about giving?

And of course, we had no fun at all.

 The key is that everything is child directed and EVERYTHING is fair game.

The sneaking off to wrap-it extravaganza was a blast. We had one minor SNAFU when Lucy ate Molly's decor. Made way for a nice little added discussion on patience. They are both so excited for the other to open their gift. Gabe so much that he keeps trying to whisper to Molly what it is.
Sibling giving. Best $2.17 life lesson, yet.

Morning at the McKenna

You would think that if I were to go somewhere and think, "Wow. This is awesome" that I would remember it for later, right? Nope. At least this is the case time and time again when it comes to the McKenna Children's Museum in New Braunfels. I have really come to attribute my glorious dip in IQ to one sweet Gabey. He was made with some really quality brain cells. I miss them.

Nevertheless, our morning at the McKenna arrived and I am confident it was just as fun as the last times... had I remembered them. We will definitely be making a trip back there for a rainy, cold day in January. For selfish reasons, I saved this for Christmas break because I loved doing this with Molly there too. Throw in a date with Aunt Balissa and my godson, Jude, and it just can't get much better.

Even if Jude was quickly becoming one sad little sicky.

Such a fun morning to explore.

So fun, that perhaps I'll remember it next time!