Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

Riley, Ella and Nolan,

Mother's Day is a tough day for me. I know I have you three kids, and I'm so very thankful for you all. Without your love I wouldn't be who I am today. I love you three babies with everything I have.

Even so, I don't look forward to Mother's Day. Not having a mother who was there for me as I grew up and being estranged from her for most of my adult life has always made the celebration of mothers seem unnecessary. I've always had my Grandmom, who mothered me. Because of her I always had someone to honor on Mother's Day. But, I've always felt sorry for myself because I didn't have a real mother to honor on this special day.

Now that I'm almost 30, the women in my life that I look up to have changed. Two in particular have filled parts of a deep void.


My first memory of Shanna is her taking me to Walmart and telling me I could buy whatever I wanted. That really made an impression! So did Grandmom's face when Shanna and I walked in with a huge fish tank.

Morgan and I thought Shanna was IT! We loved spending the night with her on the weekends. We've sat at Saia Motor Freight many nights waiting on Shanna to get off work. Morgan and I loved staying up late with Shanna at night just talking and hanging out, or organizing things.

I can remember Shanna coming to basketball games, birthday parties, putting a perm in my hair, and giving me all of her old stuff. One time she gave me some old concealer. I was about 13 and had pimples on my face. I think I used Shanna's old concealer for a year afterwards! I really liked the used nasal spray Shanna gave me one time. Grandmom didn't buy us that kind of stuff, so I thought I really had something.

I have laughed more with Shanna than just about anyone else. Whatever I go through, Shanna is always there for me. Shanna listens and understands when others don't. She is the most selfless person I know, and would give me anything she had if I asked.

Anytime Shanna would come to Grandmom's, Morgan and I would hang all over her. These days I see my own two girls going silly when Shanna walks in the room. I completely understand the feeling.


Growing up, the highlight of my summer vacation was going to Brennan, Blair and Bryce's house. This was a really big deal. Waynette's house was the biggest house we'd ever seen, and running up and down that hallway was so much fun. Even today, I still look forward to going to Waynette's house. I don't want to run up and down her hallway anymore, but visiting with her is a wonderful get-a-way.

When I was 21 I went through a difficult time and was eventually diagnosed with severe depression. I guess Grandmom told Waynette about it, and Waynette mailed me a little care package. The thing I most remember in that care package was a little pink prayer book. I was in the depths of despair and Waynette's gesture made things seem not so bad.

As I've grown older, I've come to look up to Waynette in so many ways. I want to treat my mother-in-law the way Waynette treats hers. She once said, "That is his mother and I need to honor her for that." I've thought of this so many times, and I want to honor my mother-in-law for being Henry's mother. I want to be a Christian woman the way Waynette is. She's been a great example of a mother, and one I've needed to see.

Mostly, what Shanna and Waynette have done for me is love my children. Both of my aunts LOVE my children. They care about me and my kids, and, they show they care. I am grateful to have them in my life, and even more grateful my kids have two amazing grand aunts.

So on this Mother's Day, I honor my aunts. I love you both so much, and thank you for your love, kindness and friendship.

Riley, Ella and Nolan, we are all better because of Aunt Shanna and Aunt Waynette.

Love, Mama

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

April 2014 Newsletter


You are growing up. Our conversations are even changing. When before, you would just ask random questions in no coherent stream, now you are asking questions that mean something and that explore ideas in depth. As we were driving the other day I noticed that I was enjoying answering your questions, and that was even on the way to work! Normally I would have told you Mama needs quiet time. Sorry.

It's not often that you nap anymore, much less fall asleep beside me. I couldn't resist this picture! You are the kindest, most caring little girl. You put up with so much; from me, from Ella, and now from Nolan, too. You don't complain often, and you help me out more than you know.

The other day as we were driving:

You: I thought camels lived in the desert, not on grass.
Me: (realizing you were talking about the alpaca farm we just passed) Those are alpacas, not camels.

Then when I called to tell your daddy, you really liked that. You love when I tell stories of something funny you've said. You love to be bragged upon. We have a lot to brag about, too.

Recently I heard words come out of your mouth that I've never heard. I was in the other room and heard you say, "Get off of me." Haha, Ella crawls all over you all the time.

April was a tough month for you starting out. On a Thursday when you came into my room after school, you complained that you were cold. I didn't think much of it, but turns out you had a fever that would last for five days. It was non-stop fever and feeling puny for five days. I finally took you to the doctor and you were diagnosed with adeno-virus, also known as the plague of death. Not really, but it was bad. Then I contracted this plague. We lucked out and no one else got sick. This was the sickest you've ever been. I think, even worse than some of your bad asthma attacks.


I love you. I want you to be happy. You are the sweetest little girl in the world. And you are the biggest handful in the world. If Ella isn't happy, no one is happy. I try so hard to make you happy. I try so hard to read your mind and give you what you want.  But I constantly feel like I'm letting you down. You rarely seem to be happy. It seems like I never please you. I am trying so hard! And it's because I love you so much! Before I was pregnant with you, I wanted a baby. I wanted you. God gave me you and I'm so very thankful for you. I realize that I have to resolve to try harder, to love you more, and to make you happy. I have to work harder for you than I do with your brother and sister. That's fine, and I can do that.

Last month I did find something that you enjoyed. See, the problem isn't that you hate every activity I offer; most of the time the problem is that you don't want to quit when it's quitting time. When Aunt Ma (you call her Mi-Ma) and I were little, we loved Easter. We would spend countless hours hiding our Easter eggs for each other in the back yard at Grandmom's. Over and over again. Those are some of my best and favorite memories with my sister! We loved hiding and finding Easter eggs. Turns out you and Riley loved hiding and finding Easter eggs.

Haha, and finally, you just started stealing eggs from Riley. We couldn't hide eggs all day long, and you found this unreasonable. 

There are times when you prefer Riley over me, especially when your feelings are hurt or you've just gotten into trouble. You lean into her for a hug, wrap your little arms around her back, and pat. Your little pudgy hand just a patting breaks my heart! 

We are still fighting a war on pacifiers. I may have already mentioned that you've named them "bobbies." You are known to have a bobby in your mouth and a bobby in each hand. Nolan's bobbies are not safe, even in his mouth. His bobby can be snatched right out of his mouth if you feel the need. "Where'd bobby go?" is your most used phrase. 

You also say, "What's that?" Constantly. Any noise you hear, any car or truck in our neighborhood. Any object you've never seen or don't recognize. "What's that?" 

You also have by-words that you say all of the time, too. These are 'ow' and 'no.' "Ella, are you having fun?" "No." Most of the time you don't even have time to consider the question before you answer no. It just shoots out of your mouth! 


It's going to be tough growing up with two big sisters. They are already abusing you. Riley dresses you up in her glitter hats and Ella snatches bobbies right out of your mouth! You can't eat a meal without Ella demanding a bite of whatever it is that you're eating. You don't like it when you get skipped. 

For the most part you are just the happiest little feller there ever was. You love to play with toys, especially any toy in Riley's room. The smaller the toy the better. You're not happy until every toy has been thoroughly gummed and slobbered upon. You like to flap your arms. I think you're trying to wave, but it just looks like you're about to take flight and fly away.  

You are pulling up on everything. You get really excited and proud of yourself, of course until you get ready to sit down. You hate getting stuck standing up.

Spending time at Grandmom and Grandad's is something that all three of you love. The toys are new and there are no rules. Nolan has new places to explore, Ella can drink all the Ensures she wants, and Riley can help Grandad. It's just about the best place to ever be!

I need to find out what the story is behind the big sink in the laundry room, mostly known as the 'utility room.' Why did Grandmom want this big sink? Did she ever think that her great-grandchildren would use this sink for a bath tub? Maybe not, but all three of you have been plunged into this sink and scrubbed down.


I can't wait until school is out for the summer. I'm ready to spend some much needed time with my babies. Love you three kiddos more than you'll ever know. I think about all three of you throughout my day. 

Love, Mama