Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009, Let's Do It Again

What a year! I will always remember this as the year my sweet 5th child was born. It will be the year the economy went nuts, our salary was cut in half and we depleted our savings and went back into debt, bit by painful bit. It will be the year I developed a serious facebook addiction. The year I decided that I needed friends, deserved friends and took the time to reach out and be a better friend. It was the year of goblin valley and dentist bills. It has been a time of battling the most annoyingly on again/off again case of postpartum depression. It will be the year I had Judy as my visiting teaching companion and re-learned the importance of visiting teaching and love with boldness.

It's been a bittersweet year. I've learned and grown a lot. I feel like I've lost myself in some ways. Found myself in others. All in all, I'm grateful to have had the bitter as well as the sweet. I'm deep in my bones glad and grateful to have been me this year.

Here's the blog review (which has been somewhat sparse for the year and not necessarily the best journal of my year -- Oops.) Maybe I'll have to post a facebook recap to get the real journal aspect.


I'm proud to be an American today.

I've felt and given heed to the call to burrow deep, to spiral within and integrate all that I've learned in the wildly creative period of the last year or so, to discover who I am becoming and what I can make of this next phase in my life. I am in no hurry to return or to rush the changes that are taking place.


Then there's the whole feeling I have lately that I think I'm sort of impaired when it comes to the friendship thing. I've felt rather lonely lately.

I like the name Alex but like other names better: Milly, Samantha, Claire. We shall see. Of course, she could be a boy.

This world is made of moments,
all ripe for celebration.

I wonder about the future repercussions of pursuing a diagnosis, both positive and negative. But, more than anything, I just want to do what is right for Scud. The hard part is often knowing just what "right" is.

I've been reminded that happiness and joy come entirely from within. They can coexist with ANY given situation and have nothing to do with what is happening outside of me. That doesn't mean it's not okay to be sad, angry, hurt or upset. Those emotions have their place and are always worth feeling fully and learning from. But joy is always there, just underneath. If I allow it to be.


But faith is that forward step. That determination to go on, to trust the perfection inherent in our life and to allow the negative to be impermanent, to wash over us and then fall away as we claim the joy that is our heritage as children of a God who loves us.

Lesson learned: Never make a double batch of anything you don't KNOW your children will like. Otherwise, you'll end up finishing them off by yourself, two at a time, for daaaays.


A lot of things that were troubling me have kind of just melted away. Isn't funny how that happens sometimes? Time and patience and perspective just make things seem smaller and then sometimes they even just resolve on their own.

So THAT"S What They Think Of Me

I would like to write a poem in response to this about the feeling of having threads upon threads flowing from my heart through space and time. What a feeling it is to be the mother of many and for my love to have grown so big and to extend to so many that I hardly feel like I can contain it sometimes. I am such a miraculously blessed woman.

So, for some reason I'm fascinated by word verification. Every time I leave a comment I look to see what weird combination of letters will pop up. Sometimes it almost makes sense. Sometimes it makes me laugh. Sometimes it borders on obscene.


Hopefully I reassured her. I hope, at least, that she was no longer worried that the swine flu would be the end of the world.

Just minutes after taking the medicine, he was curled up on my lap smiling a goofy, out-of-it smile and reaching for things that weren't there. In a moment of clarity he turned to face me and said "Mom, I think something's messing with my mind."

Apparently I've had a lot to say over the last couple of years, just not enough time to really finish saying it all. I felt compelled today to share these bits with you. Perhaps I'll finish and polish up a few of these and post them in their full forms.

So, I was feeling like finishing some projects today. And I did!


All in all, a pretty good summer morning. Can I just say how incredibly, exhaustingly joyful it is to be the mother of four spirited kiddos.

During intermission I had a little conversation with JDub. I determined that there are three things that are hard for me to watch: live theatre, live soccer and pregnant women. With all three, I just want so much to be involved and it takes some doing to just relax and enjoy.

"Once upon a time there were three sharks..."

The Lord always gives more than is taken from us. The recompense is not always what we expect it to be, or when we expect it to be. But it always comes.

For me, it has come in the form of peace, a settled feeling that all is well and as it should be. When I think about that time, I just can't feel the pain as clearly anymore because it has been so deeply overcome by the joy, gladness, thanksgiving and praise that have filled that place.


The website is Mother's Advocate. Definitely worth a visit if you're expecting a baby, will be soon or are just interested in learning more.

I saw a lot of myself in her. (Except for the fact that she's hilariously irreverent in a way I could never dream of being.) But a lot of the change in ideas that have come on as I've taken the time to read and educate myself about birth are very similar.

Among other things, I love it how he always comes to me crying and blurts out "Daddy (or Kaitybean or Mashuga or Scud) day me NO!" Telling Coco no is one of the worst things you can possibly do to him.

All in all a successful camping trip. I only had to walk the 50 yards or so to the bathrooms about 4 times during the night. Didn't sleep much. But, I don't sleep much at home these days. So might as well not sleep somewhere beautiful, eh?

I laugh at the less-than-stellar moments of pregnancy: the now cumbersome belly, the ridiculous round-ligament pain, the multiple trips to the bathroom (some coming less than 5 minutes apart), the hips that hurt in the morning and leave me walking like an old lady. And then I cherish them too. When will I ever feel this again? Even the pain and the discomfort are precious. They are teachers, reminders of how alive I am, how fortunate I am to be a mother, how worthwhile the fruits of this short season will be, how short this season truly is.


"Mommy, I need diaper change. I 'mell 'tinky and da big kids won't pway wif me."

So, you know that list of great books to read during pregnancy? The one I promised to post quite a while ago? Well, here it is finally!

For those most intuitive among you (or maybe I'm giving myself too little credit for clarity), it is clear that I am freaking out a little.


"How I wish I had a voice and words,
I've a hundred things to say.
Before I forget, I'd tell you of God --
I left Him yesterday."
--Carol Lynn Pearson


Honestly, it was the perfect birth for me. It wasn't easy, but by staying in the moment and embracing each moment, it was extraordinary. Ecstatic. Moving. Beautiful. The way I wish normal birth could be for every woman.

And, of course, a beautiful pregnancy and wonderful birth were both lagniappe.

Because now we have him and it feels like I've known him forever. I have no idea how I lived without him for 31 years.

It's always so much fun to introduce little ones to their new babies.


He is that passionate, beautiful blend of sweet, sassy, curious and mischievous that is two-going-on-three. He needs me desperately and he knows it. He wants to be his own man. And he wants me to know it.

All of these are on my phone. I have better pictures on my regular camera when I get around to uploading them. Hope you enjoy these for now!

I guess there's much more to be glad for than to complain about.

Lately, Coco has been really serious about his life. For instance, on Saturday when I was strapping him in his carseat to leave Grandma's house, he kept repeating "No! This is not my life! This not my life!"


Mashuga (very matter-of-factly): Kaitybean, do you see this book I'm reading? It's about aliens. And it's NON-FICTION.

I am posting this from the mother's room at church. I am nursing a sweet baby and my stomach is grrrrumbling because I forgot breakfast. So, since I'm thinking about food anyway I thought I'd post about my favorite breakfast.

Why is it that, when you have a baby, time seems to literally speed up?

I think it may be my ADD tendencies that cause my odd reading habits. But at any given time, I'm usually in the middle of several books. I switch based on mood or just read whichever book is closest.


Do you ever feel this breathless audacity?
This disbelief that moments such as these
save a space for you?

1 comment:

Trishelle said...

Oh M&M! How you've recharged my soul! Thank you so much for posting this. It's my favorite "Year in Review" I've read! I've read several in the past weeks. Most are about the tanking economy or the countries biggest jerks of 2009.

Yours is sweet and joyful. It reminds me of what is truly important and to remember to hold onto it...even when the bad news is swirling all around us. THANK YOU for the smiles and laughs. It's been quite a year!