Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Little Things

Little things.

A sniff from a neighboring room; his bouncing knee under the dinner table beside me; a warm hug at five o'clock.

Little things, little things.

A used tissue on the bedside table next to his pillow; toothpaste flicks on the mirror above his sink; the drivers seat of my van pushed back so far that I could play a game of Yatzee in front of the pedals.

Little things, little things, little things.  Little things that bring with them a message that Life is Happening Here.  Like emotional burrs, these little things snag in the tender, fleshy parts of my heart as I brush by them and make my heart stir and swell with a complicated mix of emotions.  Happiness, beauty, hope, love, fear... and, always, a little ribbon of pain.

A football game on my calendar; a pair of crumpled up basketball shorts lying ever so close to the laundry basket; breakfast smells coming from downstairs before my feet hit the floor.

His picture bouncing on my screen to the ringtone; the garbage and recycling bins traveling out and in from the side of the road; the warm spot on his pillow just after he rises.


Behind my house I can see a mountain from its tip to its base.  A gorgeous mountain with high peaks and jagged edges. When the morning sunlight hits it, it glows red and orange and its beautiful texture shreds the sunshine and blocks its light from deep pockets of shadow. I love this mountain, and it has found a place in my life as my Symbol of Beauty here in the desert.

In front of this mountain are miles and miles of desert, and the desert land closest to me, just across the road, has been zoned for development.  When the houses go up, my view of that beautiful mountain will be blocked.  I've heard many rumors, but I don't really know how much longer I have to enjoy the mountain in the way I do now.  It could be a year... it could be ten... but knowing that my time with it is limited, I have appreciated its majesty and beauty in tangible ways.  Whether it's in pausing my dinner prep to walk outside to stare at the magnificent sunset around it, or in pulling my car to the side of the road on my way out of the neighborhood to soak in the way the light is playing on its edges, or in taking the time to gather the kids around me to point out the interesting colors on its face.

I am enjoying deeply whatever time I have left with that mountain.


His giant shoes leaving no room for the rest of ours in the basket; his jacket hanging on the back of a chair; the way my heart still pulls when I see him from across a crowded room.

I try not to think about Brian's heart attack much, and even less about the mysteries around what that means for our future.  But it happens anyway, this thinking.  And perhaps that's not such a bad thing every once in a while.  We could have seconds... we could have decades... but knowing that my time here with him is limited, as it is with all of us, I find myself deeply appreciating the majesty and beauty that he brings to my life and into our home through the little, little things that say I'm here.

Tiny whiskers around his sink; his wet toothbrush in the cup next to mine; his baritone laugh mixed in with the children's...

Little things.

Enjoy the little things in life, the saying by Kurt Vonnegut goes, because one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Zion - the land of promise and red dirt

Geez - such a handsome guy standing in such a handsome place, wouldn't you agree?  Also, I love that he's holding a sippy cup.  Occasionally I'll remember that these days of caring for little ones is fleeting and I suppose this is one of those days because having accidentally captured that sippy cup sparked a little joy in this tired mama heart tonight.  Anyway, we took the kids to Zion this year and tromped them through the 'wilderness' for a few days. They were quite impressed, if I do say so.  I was quite impressed, too, come to think of it.  I have a few treasured memories of hiking in Zion as a kid and teen, but it's funny how things become either more grand or more not so grand the older you get.  Zion = more grand.  Bubble gum ice cream = more not so grand.

We met up with some best friends, which made it all the better.  Friends always make things better.  

These two were giggly and silly the whole weekend.  It kind of made me giggly and silly on the inside to watch them.  This only girl of mine needs some girls in her life, after all, and Mikayla is just what I dream for her to have.  Strong, solid, goofy, sensitive, faithful... I see a bright future for them both. 

When McKenzie wasn't goofing around with Mikayla, you could find her with the littles... tromping, stomping, singing and encouraging them all along the way.  She is so incredible with kids - like, so incredible that I have to take care not to compare myself to her and get all jealous.  How did I get so lucky to have her first?  

Also, if I believed in reincarnation, I would probably believe she was some sort of monkey in a previous life.  She is nuts when it comes to climbing and swinging in trees.  It's a talent, really. 

Carson, on the other hand... he was not found among the littles.

He, Miles, Josh and Nano were much too busy catching Things That Moved.  

So busy, in fact that I got almost no pictures of them that didn't involve some sort of creature.

There was lots of water play (lots of water play)

I think these two should get married:

And then, Timothy.  This boy melts my heart.  I love that he spent the large majority having a blast and hanging out with us.

Such a Daddy's Boy.

One time, I found the most beautiful patch of light, quite by accident, and only snagged one picture before the moment was gone. 

Mostly I just loved hanging out with this guy.

And these guys.