Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Kindergarten Girl

I blinked my eyes. All I did was blink and this happened.  Isn't that what childhood is? Just a blink of an eye in retrospect. I have been finding myself sad lately when I think about having a child in kindergarten. Sad because it reminds me that my sweet babies that I hold so close are only mine for a short time. It is my vocation, my life's work, my "yes" to God that I would raise these little people in truth and holiness and teach them how to be ready to leave me. Sounds a little bit cruel, raising our children to leave us. But once again, they aren't mine. They are His. Destined for a purpose.

My sweet Sophia. She delights in knowing that her name means wisdom. As her mother, I hope and pray that as she grows, that name will suit her well. That she will receive the gifts of the holy spirit and truly use that wisdom that she inherently has.

For now, she is still little. Thank you Jesus that I can still call her little! My little kindergarten girl. My little flower.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Choosing Joy

Have you ever had a moment that you feel like you can't get through? An emotion that you can't deal with? When it feels like you need a strength bigger than your own to survive?

It happened to me yesterday.

My husband James travels for work as a Christian/Catholic musician. To put it mildly, I don't thrive when he's gone. We feel that at this time, this is what God desires of us, and so I deal with it. I have faith that this is where God has called us, but it's hard. Really hard. He's gone for an entire week right now and then he will be home for a day and leaving again....

So yesterday I overslept due to my extreme sleep deprivation from a fussy 5 month old. I woke Sophia up for preschool and rushed her out the door. I arrived, only to realize I hadn't brushed the tangles out of her hair, and she had breakfast all over her face.

I came home feeling so excited to go for a run! My jogging stroller has been broken for weeks, and James finally fixed it. Running has been my therapy lately, something to help me cope with my day. Something to make me proud of my postpartum body. Something that is just for me. To sort my thoughts, to get my stress out on the pavement. I went in the garage to grab the stroller, and as it turns out, still broken. That damn wheel. All I wanted in this day was a really hard, good run. That's all I wanted for myself, the rest of my hours would be entirely devoted to my girls.

I stepped into the bathroom to take a shower with baby Georgia on her bouncer and found myself fall to the floor sobbing. Feelings of worthlessness flood in. What kind of mother forgets to brush her kids hair? What kind of mother leaves lasts nights dishes piled in the sink, only to wake up to a house that smells like a dumpster? What kind of a mother can't hold it together without her husband? Why do I suck at this? Why??? Why is God calling us to this life? This separation? How is this good for us, for our family life? I can't do this!!! I literally felt like I couldn't get up off of that bathroom floor. I felt so weighed down by the negativity. I reminded myself that it is lent. Though this is a time to grow in our faith, it is also a time where Satan loves to sneak in. Satan was in that bathroom yesterday morning. I know he was. I can't even explain it here in writing. Feeling like I literally couldn't stand up. As though I didn't have legs.

Then out of nowhere I hear these words: choose joy.

I was feeling negativity about EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING. And in that moment of anxiousness and despair, God reminded me that I am strong. I then remembered that a nearby parish offers noon mass. In that moment I felt like the only way I would survive would be if I had a little Jesus in my life. I rushed out of the shower, threw on some clothes and ran out the door with baby in tow and hair sopping wet. We quickly grabbed big sis at school, and off we went to mass.

Wet hair and a quick sweep of mascara!

 As soon as we got to mass, I knew I had made the right choice. Of course, Georgia was the only baby, and of course she cooed the entire mass, but I knew we needed to be there. After mass, a sweet woman came over and asked me if she could help me back to the car. Another woman came over and told me how much joy it brought her to hear Georgia cooing. I also noticed Michael John Poirier at mass, and I just love him! What a man of faith! Needless to say, I felt so welcomed at mass and so thankful that God brought us there.

 As Sophia gets older, I'm noticing her watching me more. She's becoming more observant. I don't want her to see me as weak and disheveled all the time. I want her to see me as strong. Yes, I'm human and I have shortcomings, but I want my daughters to learn from me that when life has you down, you can make the choice to stand up and do something. I felt so alone yesterday. I'm the type of person who really thrives when I am with the people I care about. Yesterday was especially hard because James was gone, my mom was working, sister working, brothers working, friends working/ in a different state. I felt super isolated.

Thankful for Spring flowers!

I'm so thankful that God got me out the door. That He got me outside of myself and to Him. Lord, continue to stretch me and strengthen me. Continue to break my heart for what breaks yours. Continue to help me choose joy.


Monday, February 24, 2014

A Father Daughter Dance

It has happened. I have witnessed my favorite moment of motherhood thus far and my heart has overflowed.

A few weeks ago when we picked up Sophia from preschool, we were sent home with a flyer for a father daughter dance in the parish hall. Though it sounded absolutely precious, we chose not to tell Sophia about it because the cost was $30. It's really not much, but for us right now, $30 is a lot. We knew she would have another opportunity for the dance next year in kindergarten, so we didn't feel too guilty about it.

Then she came home from school on Friday and told us that one of her friends was having a father daughter dance. She was so excited! I don't think she quite understood what it meant. She then asked her dad if they could have a father daughter dance too. We told her we would have a dance after dinner that night and her sweet little face lit up. The entire afternoon she talked of how excited she was for the dance. 

We did our usual circus act of cooking dinner, entertaining the baby, eating, and sort of cleaning the kitchen. Then Sophia came from around the corner and told James she was going upstairs to choose a fancy dress and she asked him to go in his room, close the door, and choose pants, a fancy shirt, and a fancy tie. 

Sophia and I headed upstairs. She carefully looked through her closet for the perfect dress. When she found it, she turned to me, once again with her face lit up, and she said, "this one!"I carefully helped her button it as she put on her shiny silver ballet slippers. We headed into the bathroom to comb her long locks into an elegant bun suited for a princess.  Then we heard a knock on the door.
Sophia opened the door and her dad presented her with a bouquet of [fake] flowers.

We headed downstairs where they danced sweetly through two songs. My heart ached in my chest as I watched the way she looked at James. The same way that I probably look at him. I was reminded that he is not only my prince charming, he's hers too. She will grow and watch him. She will watch the way that he loves me. She will watch the way that he treats the women in his life. He will teach her what love looks like. He will teach her her self worth in a way that I cannot. When he tells her she is beautiful, I pray that she believes him. I pray that through her father she can come to know the love of a heavenly father whose love is perfect and unstained.  I pray that she will observe and learn what she is worthy of. That she will come to understand self giving love. And when the time comes for her to meet the man she will marry, I pray that through the example of her father, she won't settle for less than she deserves.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Our Perfectly Imperfect Christmas

Yes that's right. its the middle of January and I am finally posting about Christmas. Better late than never right?
Most awkward family photo! I think that's why I like it :)
I still cannot believe how fast the Christmas season passed by! I am one who places a lot of value in family traditions, probably because they were such a huge part of my childhood. Thank you Mom! This year unfortunately, most of those traditions went by the wayside. Initially, I was beating myself up about this, but I have come to realize that focusing on every perfect detail is not what Christmas is about. I don't want my children to see me obsessing about the details, because sometimes the details are a little sloppy, and that's okay. 

Beautiful table setting on Christmas Eve
We spent Christmas Eve at my grandma's house enjoying a traditional Polish dinner as we have every year as far back as I can remember. I look forward to it so much! My grandma does an amazing job of decorating the house and making the tabletop just gorgeous! Christmas Day I had to work, despite my every effort to get out of it. James took the girls to his Aunt's house while I was working. It ended up being okay because they got quality time with James' parents and we had a wonderful, uninterrupted Christmas on December 27th, just the 4 of us. I was feeling a little ambitious and made gingerbread reindeer pancakes. They were a huge hit! We spent the entire day in our pajamas, soaking in Sophia's joy. As she gets older, Christmas becomes so much more magical! We certainly don't spoil her rotten on Christmas, but I feel like the gifts we gave her were ones that she can use for years to come. My dad and James had been working hard on a dollhouse for her since October. She was so excited about it! It turned out really well, and I know we will get good use out of it. She was also super happy that Santa knew she wanted the magenta sparkle ugly dog purse from Target! Yep, that Santa is pretty impressive.

Here comes picture overload....

It was so much fun to celebrate the holidays with this precious new life! This time last year, I was praying my heart out every night that God would bless us with a new baby. He has been so good to us in more ways than I can count. I am so joyful with my life right now. Two healthy girls, and the best husband I could ask for! God is good.