Sunday, June 20, 2010


One evening this week we took a family walk in our neighborhood. It was dusk. The heat of the day had subsided and the air was full of the smells of summer: freshly cut grass, smoke from a charcoal grill, and sweet honeysuckle. We strolled to the empty lot at the end of our street. The field was alight with fireflies. The tiny blinking bugs hovered a few feet above the grass.

We introduced Baby C to the fireflies and soon she was walking with hands outstretched calling and coaxing, "Here bug."

Madi stepped through the field with hands down and cupped. She literally scooped up the bugs by the handful. Then she lifted her hands and watched as they gently took flight from her palms.

Soon all of us were scooping up the fireflies. Handfuls of light.

Later that night, after the children were tucked in bed, I flipped on my computer to check email. My dear friend had posted a beautiful blog entry about her daughter's battle with leukemia. She wrote about combing her daughter's thinning hair.

I imagined a different handful. And I wanted to cry.

Handfuls. Sometimes life gives us a handful of light, of pure enchantment that makes us believe in magic, goodness, and miracles. And sometimes life gives us a handful of heartache that forces us to believe and hope and pray. And both polar experiences make not only our hands, but our hearts full too.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Juggle

It is that time of year, when I have so many things to juggle I truly feel like I'm about to lose my mind. My calendar is covered with so much pencil and ink, it looks like it has been the victim of vandalism graffiti. I've got notes taped to walls and cupboards (for those events I think I might forget...which is many). And my daily to do list reminds me of a detailed procedural list for a scientific experiment: "At exactly 8AM, have at least one load of laundry done and make the following phone calls..."

So this morning I thought I'd just list it out. My to-do, not-to-forget, list, with the hope that I'll feel much better and not succomb to the chaos and go rock in a corner.

Prepare for 2 week "Annie" Drama Camp (I'm the director of 43 children!)
Host Drama Camp Counselor Kick off Party
Soccer tournament (includes two games this Saturday)
Baptism to attend on Saturday
Madi's piano recital (30 minutes after her last soccer game on Saturday)
Prepare for my 6 week summer class (I'm teaching at Nova starting June 29)
End of soccer party (bringing fruit salad)
Leasie's Violin recital next week
Kindergarten end of the school year Cowboy party
2nd grade end of the school year Mexican party
Restaff two teachers in primary
Write script for one part of the Stake YC trek
Plan for Primary activity on July 24th
Get Madi, Leasie, and Meya ready for County Fair (4-H project books!)

I know I'm forgetting something...oh yeah, take care of five children, cook food, do laundry, and try to keep the house clean.

No wonder my mind is spinning like an out of control merry-go-round. The funny thing is...I'd venture to say that most people reading this (especially my Mommy friends) have a list equally long. And to you I say...let's escape together to the Bahamas.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

DC United

Have you ever been to a professional soccer game? I hadn't...until last night.

Madi's soccer team won a sportsmanship award from their league and they received FREE (yes, free) tickets to a DC United game. My husband and I went along for the ride. A what a ride it was! The stadium was huge. The night was steamy hot. And the playing on the field was spectacular!
Here's our favorite player of the night. The DC United goalie pulled the ball out of the air on at least three corner kicks with opposing players surrounding him--boxing him in, and jutting their heads toward the ball. He made some amazing saves--diving across the goal box. He really got us on our feet cheering.

Of course, we dined on cotton candy (which, in my opinion, is the epitome of a summer, fun treat) and pretzels. And we guzzled water. (Did I mention it was hot?)

Here a picture of some of Madi's team - we're sitting in the far seats with Madi in the middle.

But my favorite moment of the night was at the very end. We ducked out with only one minute left in the game. The three of us held hands and ran through the empty stadium corridors, down through the tunnel, and into the dark parking lot. The stars twinkled above us in the nighttime sky. I looked down at my daughters face and she just beamed.

We made it to our car before the crowds and drove home in less than an hour. Madi fell asleep before we were out of the city limits. My husband carried her inside and we tucked our happy, exhausted child into her bed.

Good times.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Storms, Butter, and Curls

I laughed out loud once and cried twice today.

I laughed when the kids and were caught in a downpour at the park. There was a rumble of thunder and suddenly one raindrop turned into a shower--a million huge plops that splattered and soaked us. What else could I do? I laughed.

I cried when I came down after putting laundry away to find that Baby C had finger-painted with butter on my kitchen floor. It was just such a big mess. What else could I do? I cried. And then I cleaned it up with lots of hot, soapy water.

And when I sat at the computer this evening, surrounded by the familiar sounds of evening (Madi practicing piano, Baby C giggling, and T-man protesting his dinner dish job), I read my dear friend's blog about her daughter's leukemia. What else could I do? I cried. I cried for my amazingly couragous friend who is facing a mother's worst fear. I cried for her dear daughter and all her pain and suffering. I cried for her thick brown curls that will soon be gone.

And when Baby C came to me with arms outstretched, wanting to be picked up, instead of sending her back to Dad or shooing her away to play with her blocks, I let her join my on lap. And I held her close.

What else could I do?