Monday, June 29, 2015

Where to begin.

Have you every asked a spider if it hurts to molt?
Freshly molted spiders are very soft and vulnerable until their new exoskeletons harden.

My sister recently gave birth to a baby girl.

Quinn Isabella.

Quinn has down syndrome.

Can I say the words shock, denial, devastation,  grief?  That was me when mama's words slammed into my chest.   Then followed by self hate and guilt for experiencing those feelings.  Zander, mom, told me that it was normal to mourn.   But no I screamed inside my head.  Mourning shouldn't be normal, its not fair.  How could I feel anything but joy over this amazing little creation?  But I did and am still doing to be honest.

Part of me wants to wrap my arms around Morgan and Quinn and shelter them from the world.  Saying "Dont you dare look at them and feel what I'm feeling.  We're wrong.  Don't gawk and feel sorry for them, like I did."  But beauty such as Quinn's cannot be hidden, especially under a cloak of fear.  Its irrational to try and snuff out the sun with your thumb. Quinn dares us all to look, stare, and wonder at her exquisite form.  She's magic.  Don't catch her gaze if you're not willing to be transformed and leave your old self behind for something better. 

Because its painful to shed this old layer of skin.  Underneath is raw. I am soft and vulnerable until this new layer of truth can harden like armor protecting me against my enemies.  And it will.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Dreamy Draw- March

I wasn't too familiar with the Dreamy Draw area.  It appeared to me to be the foothills that Ender's dragon slayer ancestor had his many hideaways and  look out spots.  I was feeling extra bloated with baby that morning and Cora was more of a parasite than the typical independent explorer.

We stay in this spot for about 10 minutes as she works on a poop.  She wasn't happy about it.

So beautiful, so prickly.  A perfect pair.
The other morning I am trying to get us out the door for swimming and Cora is insisting I read to her.

"I can't right now, why don't you read to yourself"

Whoa nelly, with that suggestion, she lets out a wail and pathetically cries over and over

"I can't read, I'm a baby!" 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

March- I have not forgotten

I made it a point to take the kids out "hiking" and exploring every Wednesday for the month of March.  I ignored the voice inside my head telling me that "it wouldn't be as epic if you weren't pregnant or if you didn't have the minis with you".   Such terrible and gruesome voices.  Though they continued to speak, it was in the dust of my heels as the kids and I tramped across urban trails.

First up- the familiar stomping ground of Echo Canyon.  Obviously we couldn't hike the main trail because we weren't wearing sports bras or sipping from Camelbacks.  So we decided to visit the hollowed out lair of the dragon.  Shaded by the shadow of its threshold, I told Ender the legend of the cursed dragon who sleeps under the mountain the people mistakenly call Camelback.  Truly, if you bend your minds eye you can clearly see the shape of a defeated but bitter dragon resting and biding his time for  when the curse wanes and he wakens to wreak havoc on modern society. (his great great great something of a dragon slayer relative fended off the dragons of the desert and there are dragon relics and abandoned caves all over this city!  Look it up, its real. )
Well, at that point Ender did not want to go to the cave.  Huh, I wonder why.  But I assured him, that there was one who would defeat the beast.
 "ME!" he cried out.  "But after daddy teaches me how to use a sword"
"Of course Ender" I smile.
"And, if we go over there, our steps won't wake him up?"
"Oh no, he can't wake up until you turn.... 16 or something"  - I fumbled for an answer.

Cora tagged a long nicely with Ender.  I think he keeps her around for dragon bait, should the time come.
That was a good outing.  I legitimately lost the trail, but Ender's sharp mind found it in no time and I made sure to praise his keen leadership.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

"Ender, last night your daddy and I dreamed and imagined a fort that hovers over our garden!"

"ohh, last night I dreamed I was swimming in a big cup of milk.  Cora, what did you dream last night?"

"uh uh uh uh I dream I dream I dream, of duh MOON!"

"Oh, that it turned into a star and came down and hit you on the face?" - offers Ender

"Uh, yeah!" she readily affirms. 


They ride when daddy comes home from work.  Only Cora would dare the devil to scare her away from the easy rider.  Only Ender would be deft enough to safely operate it.  Zander has crashed those kids more than I can count, and Ender, he's like that guy on Grease 2:  the cute nerd who is smart enough to ride cautiously.
But still, the way this easy rider operates, it goes super fast and whips the kids around tight corners.  Hilarious!

Cora definitely plays the "bad girl" role.  She's an animal. 

Thursday, May 07, 2015

The sun rises in the afternoon.

I see her rise three times a day, actually.

First, as the familiar one to us all, breaking over the horizon, spilling herself through our curtains.  I pull myself out of bed.

Second, she curls her sleepy sunbeams around my neck, for a good morning hug and I lift her from the crib.

Then my sun girl lays quietly in a cloud of afternoon dreams. 

And, when the day is waning, and the shadows lengthening, she rises once more beaming and bursting with light.

She'll warm you, she'll burn you. She was set in motion by a higher power than me long before her nature like counter part was hung in the sky.

I'd also like to mention, I feel like a baker pulling a fresh loaf of bread out of the oven every time I lift Cora out of bed in the morning.  I exchange an apron for rumpled pajamas and the pride of a baker's creative work for the humbleness of knowing that I was once only the oven myself for this lump of dough. 

Friday, May 01, 2015

Home Video

Cora and her dog pal, Gunther.

I cannot believe the accuracy of it all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cousins cooperating, Cora not so much.

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not" - emerson


"We find delight in the beauty of children and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body"

Elly. Darling. Lovely. 

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I can hardly bend anymore these days to take a picture hobbit level.  Thankfully, the kiddies have beautiful blues that are used to looking up.

Thursday evening, the street lamps buzz with their orange glow, and we head down the street to the park for Ender's soccer game.   His excitement pulls and snaps him like a rubber band around the field with his buddies. .  Other boys and girls seemed to have grasped the concept of the general rules of the game and the taste of competition and victory.  But Ender has taken firm hold of happy oblivion. I've stopped cringing every time the ball rolls past his stop or he kicks it toward the other teams goal.  I smile now in admiration.  He is beaming with fun.Last year, he was fixated on how fast his left elbow cranked when he ran and holding a little blonds hand.  This year, he sits on the field line cone if he has to go the bathroom and is adamant about "holding it".  He's a pin ball pinging through an obstacle of friends feet. and is innocent of any self inflicting criticism.  Why must things change?  Could he just hand it over to me when his childhood is through with the delusion of of it?  Well, yes, I'd rather have him keep it, but I'd also like for him to share while he still has plenty of pious naivety.  If I believe hard enough, maybe I will shrink back down to ginormous living like Ender.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow, why oh why can't I

She's a menace to a clean outfit, room, and schedule. She'll knock down your walls and let the light flood every corner. 
There are clouds in my mind.  The kind you would find sulking around over the moors in a Jane Austen novel.  I bat at them, try to shoo them away, but they persist.
A glint of shining blue catches my eye beyond the grey and its little lady lynn fluttering whimsically here or there.  She is a bowling ball of a thing, but whips and whirls as light and delicate as a bubble.  I love her.  Her chirping charms me.  I want to join her, but the low lying clouds slither around my ankles and shift into heavy chains that keep me earth bound.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Its not really who I think it is.  The neighbor, girlfriend,or estranged acquaintance, but a 3 headed demon of bitterness, envy and pride.  My opponent is in the ring with boxing gloves on taunting me while I try to shield the children's eyes from its hideous form.  I try buckling Cora in the car seat and her screaming protests begin to compete with the hissing from the ring.  Ender's whining and complaining gets caught among the lying and the jeering coming from the spiritual beast.  I plow forward to nap time.

Its at nap time that the house quiets and the fight can get serious.  You open your Bible, bow your head and glove up. 
When she fixes her gaze, her eyes are chiseled stone set under a pale smooth cliff.  But she is afraid of dragons. However, we know her heart to be stout like a dwarf, joyful like a hobbit and deep like the elves.  So... Zander showed her this clip tonight before bedtime.  He surprise there.

But he also cried with a father's proud and sentimental love when he found a top female wrestler that reminded him of Cora.  I'll have to post an interview of her sometime.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One night, like many, Zander tied on the apron strings.  He's top chef like his mama.  I could excuse myself by saying I'm pregnant and oxygen and chocolate are the only things I really want to be inhaling, but I can't.  Pregnant or not, I'd rather be doing something else than cooking.
Waste not want not.  He gathered broccoli from the garden, broccoli that had already opened into tiny yellow flowers.  Bubbling and melting in the next pan over was a lot of garlic, a lot of butter, a lot of lemon juice and just enough salt.   The blossoms on each their own pale green stem formed a perfect broom for sweeping up the addicting buttery sauce into our wide panned mouths.   Kids were ignored as they chewed their chicken in the next room, but I finally came to my senses and thought it would be nice to share the bounty.  Ender with the most refined palate of a four year old I know, lapped it up and even Cora ate it.  I think the bees must have left a little honey on each flower for the yellow haired girl. 

I noticed a bee with tattered wings.  It still hovered and hummed along without slowing.   How does a bee fly?  Its a myth now.  That bees shouldn't be able to fly.  God gave away just a little bit more of His secret and now we see that bees are not supposed to be studied against the flight mechanisms of an airplane.  Their wings are flexible, not rigid, for instance.  They are more like gods summoning mini hurricanes above their rotating garlic skinned wings and thus lift off.
God must create little storms of power above my tattered and faith flexed wings.  The honeybee does not tire like me, but we both by God's mystery and grace fly on to the next flower.  

Monday, March 02, 2015

"The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves withing." ~Bryant

Yes, the buds of the fruit trees are breaching their wintry hold.  The life and delicate beauty I could never engineer.  I am happy to marvel, sometimes too insecure and scared to involve myself.   Zander is happy to tinker with what all God has give him stewardship over.  The yard is a bonsai challenge and he studies it, prunes it, bends it to his will and also to what he believes to be its natural destiny.  Its nice to have Zander teaching me how to be.  To be.
To be
content yet hungering
convicted yet full of grace
solid yet mysteriously nuanced

I don't intend for him to sit on a throne of sappy compliments :) I do love him, and know that he is because God is.

The humble and ugly dump of concrete God gave was in desperate need of.... a lot
I lamented over what was not.  I wanted to walk in paradise.  I forgot I was walking and more often than not being carried by Paradise Himself.
Honestly, (and gee, zander, I don't know if you're aware of this *wink) but I lust after trees.  I exult their brittle branches to godlike stature.  I could delve into my weird self as to why I do this, but talk about a big yawn for the majority of people. Needless to say, I am a bratty and grateful girl at the moment.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I don't remember what day it was.  It never matters, though, when Zander is on Christmas break.   Rising in the morning, living, falling asleep at night, dreaming;  a tranquil repetition of simplicity.

but just basic 101 photography zander.  notice street signs impaling your subject's head please.  

Slowly slowly, very slowly creeps the garden snail
Slowly slowly, very slowly leaves a silver trail

Quickly quickly very quickly he falls from careless hands
Quickly quickly very quickly mother reprimands.

I admit, I was a little over emotional about the snail's shell cracking.  I tattled on Ender to Zander (who didn't care.....strange) and I believe I cracked Ender's heart in the process.  He was certain the snail would shrivel up and die and never find a home again.  I wonder who gave him that thought....?  So I tightened the belt around my big girl pants and convinced Ender all would be well with the snail.  He was brave and bold and would certainly find new and better accomadations.

"Haven't you ever heard of a slug?!" Zander yelled form up ahead.


There is a slight difference.  It doesn't matter anyway... I did think the snail recovered from his slight wound.  They can grow their shell back.  However.... a month later, in the same spot,caught in a rain storm, Ender came ripping down the sidewalk on his big wheel.  No no no, the sight was not pretty.  The sound of the crunch was a sonic boom in my heart.  I hurried the children a long, trying to forget.  But I can't, because its smashed carcass has made a large stain that we pass every time we walk to the park.  

Gunther chasing pigeons. I like pigeons, and I hope they know it is all in fun, nothing personal. 

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Garden trolls.  They confound you with their mischievous glee and leave you simultaneously joyful and infuriated.  I distinctly avoided books like the Cat in the Hat and Amelia Bedilia and the one cartoon Lilo and Stitch....As a kid I could never equate messy with funny.   I still can't.

But here I am dealing with a particularly horrid beast.  Cora, of course.  She pleasures in grinding baby green caterpillars between her claws of fleshy steel.  She hunts them down and tries to drown them in the dog's water bowl. (A great pesticide if your four year doesn't want to save them for his habitat)  She will rip your herb's roots from their damp dark safety and watch them burn and dry up in the sun.  She's little, she's round, but she moves with fire in her toes.

The world is her playground and she is having the time of her life.  She owns it with no responsibility or grave consequence.   She is so happy and is befuddled at your outbursts over her destructive joy.

I can see her storming the gates of hell with Jesus, once her brain is fully developed, and by prayer and petition she progresses in sympathy and empathy. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Ender and his little Toadie

She's her own woman, spunky, opinionated, fearless (save big machines), but Ender is older, wiser and he knows it.  Its dawned on him to tap into the resources of his little sister to get things done.

"Cora, chase those pigeons!"
"Cora, pinch daddy"
"Cora, say you want to watch TV"
"Cora, say you're done with lunch and you want a treat"
"Cora, follow me"
"Get Gunther!"

At first, it seemed Ender was getting a little uncomfortable in the shadow of Cora and differentiating himself between that weird, loud urchin invading his once 'only child life".  But now, Cora has become more of an extension of Ender's will and dictatorship.  He is comfortable in his own skin and will use whatever means necessary to push some boundaries.  She is a weapon, mouth piece, and his little toadie. 

And they adore each other. until they don't. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

On the Rim

I vow never ever again will go in the snow without donning a fur onsie.  I mean it.

The road to Payson weaves and wends through some of the most beautiful landscape.  Glad the I- 17 couldn't cut it straight.  Seen enough of that road it seems.
Zander abandoned his very excited kids in the car to record Gunther's first experience in snow.  Typical.
I would have loved to play with the lighting of this beautiful scene in camera, but my fingers were stiff and fragile as icicles.   The snow was like the fallen breath of an ice queen, nothing was allowed to form from it.  So we just kicked it around for Gunther's amusement.  I threw so much snow in his face, all over his body, he loved it.  It was very cathartic.  He wansn't annoyed or in full blown toddler rage.  Tough of nails, that boy.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Junipine - December and a lot said about Cora's hair

Zander told me that Ender got a little hung up while listening to a story.  Apparently, he wasn't too concerned. Zander must weave some thrilling tales. Thats how focused of an audience Ender is. 

A series of zander selfies to follow.  He discovered it this trip.  There are more, way more.... with Gunther.

haha oh come on zander, really.

cora's mama finally was let on to the existence of leave in conditioner. That stuff is amazing! We found multiple dreadlocks in her hair.  Huh, I was under the illusion that people with curly hair were blessedly exempt from needing to use hair products.  One of the reasons I wanted lovely locks so bad. Though, zander complained that it brushed her "look" out.  Her look is feral I guess.
Then I witnessed another curly hair secret.  On Monday nights Cora gets a spa treatment from Grandma.  Well, she emerged squeaky clean (if only for a brief moment) and with combed through, slick blond hair.  Her curly haired aunts were not amused.. so they attacked that mop by some sort of sprucing with simply their fingers and in no time her head was covered in a dizzy pattern of spirals and coils.  So its just a two step process 1)leave in conditioner with comb through 2) and then fluff
Her bedtime routine is becoming quite la di da, what with her creams, lotions and essential oils applications in front of a roaring fire. haha