Thursday, May 30, 2013


My dear, sweet, baby boy,

Today you are seven. I'm not even sure how that happened. You sprouted overnight into a big kid; a really funny, sweet, helpful, and kind one.

I cry a little on every birthday of yours, because I know we are so lucky to have you, alive and well and thriving. My heart grew out of my chest the day you were born, and it sits on my sleeve when I think and talk about you. (you can read his birth story here.)

You are my sweet spot on a sour day, and your dimples make me melt.

Your bright blue eyes light up the entire room, and your one-liners make me laugh for days.

I love that you still suck your thumb.

I love how you line up everyone's shoes by the door because you know I hate trying to find the matches.

I love how you wrap your arms around my neck when I tuck you in.

I love your heart, it's a good one. It's a helping heart; a kind heart; one that can be easily broken but just as easily mended.

I love your fiery spirit; you'll need that in this sometimes harsh world.

I love the pictures you draw for me. It's the same one every time. You and me and flowers. To mama, From Camden, I love you.

I love how you walk around the house saying, I'm going to miss this house, a lllooottt of good memories were made here. 

I love the fact that you can repeat movie lines word for word. Not many people can do that, you know?

I just really love you. All of you. Even your slamming-the-door-screaming-I-hate-my-life!!!-outbursts you have. Even when you call me an old grandma. Even when you tell me you hate my cooking. I know you love my chocolate cake and that's all that counts.

I hope your seventh year is your best year yet. I hope your love and joy for life and baseball never dies. I hope you always love me like you do And, I hope you forgive Katelyn for ruining your birthday morning by yelling and screaming and throwing 9736 tantrums before 7:30 this morning.

Love, mama


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hard Runs and Hard Days...

My hard runs are very few and far between. And when I say hard, I mean mentally. The runs where I feel like I can't take another step, and my mind is screaming for my legs to stop, to turn around and run back home.

I remember all of my hard runs. The runs when every step is a struggle; every breath feels like fire burning in my lungs. I remember what I thought and felt and how my mind is my biggest enemy. Just turn around; just stop running; you can't do this today. But, I don't turn around; I don't stop; I can't. My runs are mine; I own them; even the hardest of runs. My runs are stolen time. My runs; they define me. I owe myself these runs; and I owe running my life.

Running has saved me from time to time; saved me from sinking into a deep, dark pit.

I had a really hard run Sunday morning. One of the hardest in my memory bank of runs. I felt like I was running in quicksand. Every way I turned, the wind was pushing against me, and I felt like quitting. I turned up my music and tuned my own voice out and I just stopped thinking. I looked down at only the step ahead of me instead of the whole trail in front, because that whole trail was really overwhelming. Little steps; slow steps; music blaring.

Taken on my run Sunday morning

And then I turned a corner, and the wind was finally at my back, and my favorite song in the whole world came on, and I got goosebumps from head to toe. I felt this little nudge on my back; pushing me along; helping me up this really hard hill; and my legs, they didn't feel so heavy anymore. The only voice I could hear in my head was you are not alone; you are never alone. 

We all need a little nudge sometimes; a little help; a little push up that very hard hill of life from your family or friends or God or whatever you believe in.

These hard runs, while they are few and far between, they make me appreciate the good runs, the easy runs, the perfect runs. The hard runs make you realize how very good the good runs really are. The struggles make the good even running and in the hard days of life. 

*all photos taken with my iPhone


Thursday, May 16, 2013


Piglet: How do you spell love?
Pooh: You don't spell it, you feel it.

Sometimes, maybe a lot of the time, I miss these tiny, precious, fleeting moments between my children. Not on purpose, but just because I always feel rushed, rushed, rushed. I feel like a chicken with my head cut off, running around with no purpose and not enough time and there's a whole lot of stuff to do before the school year ends and thinking about it all makes my head spin.

The other evening, while I was trying to get the kitchen cleaned up after dinner, Kate asked if I would paint her nails. I think I mumbled something like, just a minute, after I do the dishes... the usual.

Jacob said, I'll do it. And he did. And it was one of those moments I won't soon forget. It was one of those moments that had my eyes welling with tears, threatening to stream down my cheeks. It was one of those moments that gave me a lump in my throat and made my heart swell out of my chest. Am I missing all of these moments? Am I too busy doing the dishes and folding the clothes that I miss these heart-melting moments of childhood?

I hope not. While the dishes can't wait forever, neither can the children. But I can pause. I can stop for just a moment to catch a breathtaking moment between two siblings. I can pause for just a moment to bend down and help someone tie their shoe. I can wipe my wet hands off and fix a ponytail or find some socks or come right away instead of saying, just a minute. These minutes are changing to years that are flying by, and sometimes a moment like this is the perfect reminder.


Monday, May 13, 2013


Right now, the birds are chirping. I can hear them through my open window. The grass has turned from dead-brown to the most beautiful, luscious green. The trees have sprouted their leaves, and everything is blooming. Our driveway is covered with chalk drawings...the surest sign of spring there is.

I wonder how the birds know when to come back, though. How do they know that it's safe again? How do they know if it's going to be one of the hardest, longest winters ever? My oldest son told me he thought I was as smart as a scientist. Little does he know. I thought the winter had gone two times over, yet it came back with a vengeance again and again. Snowpants were washed and packed away, not once, but twice. Snow days in April make me cry.

I think it's safe now. I think the birds can go about chirping and building their homes for their babies. I think I can come out of hibernation, too. I can come out of my cage and fly free again. Free from the shackles and chains of winter coats and layers of clothing and's too much. Slow and weighed down with too much baggage for one person to carry. I will never understand winter birds. And, maybe I wasn't meant to.