Friday, May 29, 2009

The First of Many

This summer will be filled with many short escapes, get aways, one two week adventure through the Midwest and Canada. Today we are off on our first trip of the summer to Tucson. This was for many years an annual trip, but it has been several years since we have gone. I am trying to look at this trip with a new perspective, to see and enjoy it through the eyes of my children. We opted to stay in Oro Valley this time at a resort in a 3 bedroom condo rather than squeezing our family of 6 into a suite at a hotel. We have had many successes over the years staying at vacation rentals rather than hotels. The space, kitchen, a place to call our own while on vacation is incomparable for a family our size, or in my humble opinion any family. More than anything I am looking forward to this last summer before our youngest kids, the twins, start kindergarten. A new adventure and many changes lie ahead for our family. My goal for this summer is to stay in the here and now, enjoying and savoring each moment as it comes.

Brighter Than Sunshine

One morning this week I found myself working the day shift. Up at 4:30am, in my car driving to work by 5:15am. Streams of Aqualung trickled from the speakers in my car as the world around me began to wake up. Slowly the first rays of light from the sun began to appear over the edge of the mountains. I was struck by the immense peace, tranquility, beauty of the dawn. Most days I am still tucked under my sheets as the day begins, sleepily shrugging off the remnants of my night of rest, stretching my body out of bed hours after sunrise. At that moment, all seemed right in the world. The words of one of the discussions I posted recently in my World Religions class came to mind. How even though I have over the past few years doubted myself, my faith, my religion, my thoughts on this world and life itself, I have never for a moment doubted the existence of God. The more I study the human body, watching all the mysteries that lie within us unfurl, the more it seems completely logical to me that someone planned all of this out. Humans didn't just appear or evolve, they were designed, created, developed by someone with supreme, divine intelligence. Created by someone who loved, sculpted, molded all of the fine details much like an artist bringing a piece of work to life with their own two hands. No one would deign to question that a computer has an inventor or creator per say, but many question that humans were created by a divine being. That is to me mind blowing. Why question the creation of far superior, more complex, fully integrated machine that lives, breathes, can think for itself, procreate, is capable of love, hate, fear, pain, happiness? Why is it so easy for so many to question that that we were purposed by God? I do not have the answers for anyone, but myself. I know what I feel in my gut, what my brain logically assesses as the answer after looking at all the facts. God exists. I may have my own personal issues with God, many in fact, too many to list in one blog post or maybe in one lifetime. I know one thing however, in the words of Jon a good family friend "It seems to me that if God is big enough to create the entire universe. He is big enough to handle our questions and doubts". Those words are profound. They give me hope that even if I can not resolve my issues with God, He knows me, He understands me, He created me and that alone gives me hope that is brighter than sunshine.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

End of the Semester

Apologies for lack of posts lately. I am swamped with finals and papers for the next week. Look for more news and many adventures during this summer. Just as soon as I finish this semester!

Mother's Day

This is the first Mother's Day I can remember my kids being big enough to understand and appreciate. They wrote cards, drew pictures, gave flowers, framed hand prints, shared hugs and kisses. My husband gave me an enameled cast iron casserole pot and two pairs of flip flops for Mother's Day (at my request thank you very much). I felt pampered, loved, blessed. They didn't have to give me anything. I already have more than I could ever ask for. The most incredible gift I have ever received are my three children and my stepson. Being a Mom has been the hardest and most rewarding thing I have done in my life.

Six years ago on Mother's Day we conceived our identical twin girls. It has always struck me as so amazing and yet also so odd that I know not just the exact day, but the moment they began. My life has been so blessed by the existence of these two little miracles. My carbon copies who look so alike on the outside and are so very different on the inside. Their personalities, disposition, likes, and dislikes distinguish them as individuals. They are each their own person, both strong, funny, independent. My beautiful girls, I can't imagine just having one of them. They are like two halves of one whole and I would miss out on so much without them. The way they look at the world, their understanding of each other, they share a bond like no other. They have taught me to always be yourself, even if you happen to look like someone else and that a big belly laugh can be the best cure for what ails you.

Then there is my boy, Cameron. My old soul with his wit and charm, my ally and partner in crime, my critic and tough cookie, my independent dreamer with a heart bigger than anyone I know. He faces the challenges life hands him with strength, grace, and courage. He has taught me to appreciate each day and find happiness in the small things. He has given me the gift of hope, determination, and strength.

I can not forget the boy who let me practice my mothering skills on him before I gave birth to my first child, my stepson Chris. He is so lovely and amazing at 16. His smile lights up a room. He is an incredible big brother and role model for his younger siblings. He is turning into a responsible, respectful young man. One who is very different from his dramatic younger siblings. Chris is much more introverted than the rest of our kids. He finds the drama and humor that seem to be constant companions in our home, mildly amusing to say the least. My thoughts are that he puts up with us, all the while planning his escape to college in two years. I am so proud of him!

Being the mom of these four has made me a more powerful woman. I have found my voice and use it often and wisely. I have become an advocate for my children, speaking up when no one else will. I have learned that sometimes you have to say NO! I have discovered there is no stronger bond than that of a parent and child. I have found myself, as well as my inner child. I now know the joy of living in the moment, the sacrifice of giving everything for someone else. Nothing brings me more happiness than spending an afternoon listening to music with my kids, watching them dance and laugh. My house and heart are full of the joy of childhood. So, I am sharing two of my favorite photos of my babies when they were little - the lights of my life, as my dad used to say "the apple of my eye".Thank you to my babies for choosing me to be their Momma. I can't imagine one moment of my life without you in it, you shape my world!