Friday, July 27, 2012


You are eight. And you are full of everything.

You are eight. And you are musical. You've taken to piano like a fish to water. Music is in you, my girl, and you have always needed to let it out. From singing "Juicy" when you were two, to learning to whistle at four, to performing original songs for us at six, you have always come to life when music was playing.

You are eight. And you are funny. Sometimes you say things that make me wonder if you are sneaking out after bedtime and watching Jimmy Fallon. Your humor is pretty sophisticated. Except when it's not. You, like your brothers (and dad), find farts and burps funny.

You are eight. And you are loving. You snuggle up to me, all knees and elbows where there were once rolls of baby fat. You have a hard time going to sleep and often come into my room four or five times a night for "one last hug before bed." The part of me that gets irritated is loudly overruled by the part of me that knows that one day, that "one last hug" really will be.

You are eight. And you are still picky. You have a total menu of about eight things that you will eat. This hasn't really wavered over the last few years. The only thing that has changed is my frustration over this situation. I have decided that you are growing and strong and healthy and I should focus on that.

You are eight. And you are a great lover of animals. After you come in to give me "one last hug" you head over to Tilly's bed and give her one last hug as well. She is well hugged by you. Often I will come into a room to find you on the floor next to her, whispering to her how wonderful she is and hugging her. If there is an animal show on television, it gets your attention. You have told me that you want to be a K-9 police officer so that you can work with animals and help people--two of the "very best things".  There will be dogs on  your birthday cake and your excitement about taking your first horseback ride for your birthday has been the topic of several conversations this week.

You are eight. And you are a reader. Long after I declare "lights out," you are huddled in your room, reading because you "just can't sleep until you read the next sentence/page/chapter."

You are eight. And you are brave. You went parasailing on our vacation. You did it through tears. In the end, you loved it.

You are eight. And you are stubborn. You refuse to like spiders. EVER. You don't care if you ever learn to ride your bike without training wheels. You will not try spaghetti no matter how many times we tell you that spaghetti noodles are the same as macaroni noodles and that the sauce is like pizza sauce. You insist that you will never move out of our house and that you will live here forever. (I have other ideas about this one, my love.)

You are eight. And you look up to your older brothers and sister. You want to be included in their fun. You spend half your nights having "sleepovers" in your brother Sean's room. You follow him to play with all the boys in the neighborhood. You watch James as he plays a video game, quizzing him and complimenting his play. You wander into Maggie's room and, against your better judgment, let her do your hair.

You are eight. And you are one of the finest gifts heaven has ever bestowed on me. Your clear blue eyes, your wavy, unruly hair, your ticklish ribs, your snorting giggle, your warm hugs--these are all things that have made my life better for having experienced them. I tell people all the time that even though your dad and I thought our family was finished after Sean, God knew better. (Doesn't He always?) He knew that we needed you. I didn't even know I was missing you until I had you. And every day I am extraordinarily grateful that God knows what I need better than I.

You are eight. And I am unbelievably blessed to hear you call me "mommy."

Happy birthday, Mary Rose!!


P.S. You are my favorite Mary.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

11 Things I've Learned From Being Your Mom

My Wee Bonnie Sean,

Today you are 11. And I am amazed. Eleven years have flown by and you have grown so much and learned so much in that time. And even though my learning curve wasn't quite as steep as your own, I have certainly learned some things in the time that I've been your mom. You've been a good teacher and I thought I'd share some of the knowledge I've gained since you brightened this world eleven years ago.

1. You can't count freckles. It's like trying to number the stars or count the sand on a beach.

2. Curly hair still needs to have some style to it. Even though I disagreed with you and insisted that you could just get it wet and thrash your hands about in your hair and it would look great, you insisted right back that if your hair couldn't be straight (And oh! How you have lamented your curly hair this last year!) you could get it cut in such a way that it had some pizazz. (My word, not yours.) And thus came what we have dubbed the "shark look", wherein you would use product and take the middle section of your hair and make a little shark fin mohawk. Style, my dude. You gots it.

3. Pro wrestling isn't just entertainment, it's serious business. And those wrestling toys you have? I have learned that they are NOT dolls. They are action figures. You taught me very quickly to get my vocabulary straight.

4. Laughter is good. Giggling is good. Laughing and giggling at inappropriate times is also sometimes good. And you, my son, have one of the best laughs I've ever heard. Thanks for bringing so much laughter into my life.

5. There is no such thing as too much lasagna. Okay, actually, I'm pretty sure this threshold could be crossed, but I've not yet seen you cross it.

6. Playing outside with a whole crew of friends is one of the best ways to spend a day. I sort of remember this one from when I was a kid, but you know, we grown ups tend to forget that kind of stuff sometimes. Thanks for reminding me.

7. Sometimes a little snuggle time makes everything better. I'm grateful you will still sit next to me and ask me to run my fingers though your curly hair and just be for a little while. This is something I forget as well, in my rush to move on to the next thing on my To Do list. Thanks for slowing me down.

8. Generosity in all things is beautiful. You are truly one of the most generous souls I know. If you have something good, you want to share it with others. You have always been this way.  I'm still trying to learn this one from you, Seannie Buck.

9. Being a peacemaker isn't all that hard. Seriously, governments should pay for your services. You bridge the gaps between siblings, friends, classmates and you make it look easy. You have a gift. And by watching you, I'm learning.

10. Baseball is the best sport ever! Until football season starts.

11. Spontaneously holding someone's hand makes them feel needed and loved and wanted and beautiful. Thank you for continually surprising me by taking my hand and making my day.

Finally, my sweet boy, I have learned since your birth, that prayers are sometimes answered in ways that you cannot begin to imagine and that sometimes God gives you so much more than you ever believed possible, and certainly more than you ever deserved. I know this, because you are an answer to prayer and I am continually blessed by you.

Happy 11th birthday, Seannie!


P.S. You are my favorite Sean!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Late Graduation! (I'm Blaming The Wormhole!)

It's been almost a month since what I'm posting about today happened. I must be in some sort of wormhole or time warp. That's the only excuse I have to explain why there is a month-long gap between the event and the posting. Well, that and the fact that seven days after this event, my family started descending upon my home for the 4th, they stayed for 3 days, then my own family left for 10 days of vacation. Then I spent the last week since we've been home trying not to fall asleep while I was eating or driving because I needed a vacation from my vacation.

So instead of being one of those bloggers who is full of excuses, I will be the one who gives some sort of pseudoscientific excuse. I'm going with wormhole. It just sounds waaaay more believable than time warp.

Okay. Enough. Let's get to the Event.

My nieces had a graduation party. One of them, Olivia, who has the distinction not only of being my niece but also my goddaughter, was graduating from high school. The other, Audrey, who is just my niece and not my goddaughter, but whom I guess I still think is pretty nifty (okay, she's great!) was graduating from 8th grade. Their parents, my brother (Uncle Grumpy) and sister-in-law threw a party and we were determined not to miss it.

Thus we found ourselves driving to Chicago for a lickety-split weekend.

There was my nephew (with one of his uncles) who is taller than me--and at about 6'5" just about everyone else, too--but whom I can still tickle until he is helpless. That sounds much creepier than it actually is, I promise.

And there was my other nephew who tried very, very hard to kill me with his cuteness.

There was hula hooping. And then growling when the hula hooper realized that her mother had been photographing her.

There was my son, who ate a couple hamburgers, several hot dogs, chips, and a handful of cookies and brownies. And who, I believe, has a hole in his leg. Or a worm of some type. Yeah. I'm going with the leg hole.

And there was my beautiful niece/goddaughter.

I am a horrible aunt/godmother/photographer because I really didn't take many photos and this is the only one of I have of her on this occasion. I didn't even get a picture of Audrey. Way to go, Aunt Sara/Loser! In my defense, I was very busy trying to hide the hideous seashell owls some place in their home that they would be discovered, but not before we left so that they didn't wind up back in our car while Uncle Grumpy and his family jeered at us to enjoy the owls. Apparently this takes an inordinate amount of time and doesn't allow for such frivolous things as taking photographs of momentous occasions.

Fortunately, I was going to be seeing Uncle Grumpy's clan at my home within the week for the 4th, during which time, I managed to snag a few photos.

And probably, assuming I can get out of this wormhole, I'll be posting those here sometime in the next month week.

In any event, my nieces are both incredibly bright, shiningly beautiful girls and I am proud of both of them and know that they will do big things in the future.

And hopefully, I'll do a better job with the photography.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

And This Is Why I'll Never Win Blogger Of The Year

I don't really know. Do they actually have a Blogger of the Year? If they do, I've lost for sure. Who has a blog and then doesn't post for almost a month?

Me, apparently.


It's been famine and then feast around here as far as blog fodder goes. School got out and then there was baseball and then there was that last post about buying a discounted cake for no reason at all. Did you wonder if perhaps the discounted cake led to our demise? I'm fairly certain that would've made some news channel somewhere. FOX news, at the very least, would have covered it. Unless FOX news was in collusion with makers of discount cakes, then they'd be all, "No, no! We must keep this under wraps! Think of the economy!" and the discount cakes people would be all "Don't tell anyone about that unfortunate family! We were just starting to make headway on those stuck up bakers at Betty Crocker!"

Although I'm pretty sure there is no such thing as discounted cake people, so probably you can disregard that last little tangent. Because, hello? We are all okay here. Well, except for going off on tangents about FOX and discount cakes. But that's just me and y'all are used to my weird writing by now.

Betcha missed me. Heh.

Well, annnyywaaayy....

I had very little to write about and then BAM! I had plenty of stuff to write about, but no time to write. So, if all goes well and very well, in the next few days (unless my trainer kills me tomorrow after almost 2 weeks off) I shall regale you with tales of graduation parties, home invasions (no worries--we were only invaded by my family), tropical trips, and rousing games. ( Do you play BS? I am a master player. Believe me when I tell you that this is preferable to my children being master players. Also? When you are married to someone for 21 years, it is very hard to play this game with them.)

And, just to add a non-sequitor to the mix, guess what happens here in 28 days? Did you guess school? Because until my kids told me I was all WHEEEE! SUMMER!! Now I'm worried at how quickly the days are going to fly by until that deadline hits. Stupid kids, bursting my bubble.

Also, I promise that this post was not fueled by alcohol in any way. It only seems manic and scattered because I have about a zillion things cycloning through my brain. Also? Cycloning is totally a word and spell check should just bite me. Also? Right this very second, I am hearing THUNDER, which is a sound that hasn't been heard 'round these parts in a long time, so it's noteworthy enough to write about. Now if only it would actually rain. That would be cool.

Okay. Sorry. I promise I'm done. Until tomorrow anyway. Then, all bets are off, folks. Come back if you dare.