Monday, February 25, 2008

A bit of the past

We watched some video footage of Lanie when she was little. Cute stuff. Cute to see her and Shane get into a "car" and Lanie was driving them to the store to buy Mommy some strawberry lipstick. Or when I was pregnant with Erin, I told Lanie I'd miss her while I was in the hospital and she said, "I'll miss you too. But I'll have you in my heart and I'll be in yours." True enough.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Favorite part of the day

I always ask Lanie what her favorite part of the day was as I help her settle in to bed at night.

And she always has the same loveable answer.

"You," she says.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A gift

Lanie was in my room just seconds after 7 a.m. with a gift in hand. She made a "card" for me for Valentine's Day and was so excited to present me with it (she did all the cutting and gluing herself). What a true gift, from her heart, with no prompting or suggestions from me. A joyful look in her eyes when she got it: that giving is better than receiving.

She just wanted to please me.

Thanks, Lanie. I love you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

What love looks like

I occasionally visit a blog written by a family of Christian women. They have a photo gallery with some very sweet pictures taken of themselves, their kids, their husbands. And the look of affection between the men and their wives left me with a momentary sense of longing. How wonderful that the love between those couples is palpable in a captured image. Makes me wonder, is it like that for them when the camera is not around? And from what I know of this family, I think it is. Made me wish I had a picture of me and my man that showed that kind of love. Made me wonder if people look at us and think, "Now that's a happy couple. I wish I had that."

You won't find pictures of us as a couple where we're are neatly coiffed and joyfully together, probably because one of us, usually me, is behind the camera taking the shot. You also won't find us holding each other's hand, because we're most likely holding onto our kids. You won't find us out on a date night, because, well because of a lot of reasons. It's not the picture I had painted for myself in my youth. And yet it's more than I imagined.

What does love look like? Love looks like this: My busy husband who answers my phone call and listens long enough to hear what I have to say. This man who wakes up at 3 a.m. every weekday, who doesn't take more than a week of vacation time during a year, who doesn't buy things for himself all so the girls and I can do what we do. Love looks like a man who doesn't complain about his job or responsibilities, or what he misses by working so hard; who cleans up after dinner and doesn't vent at me, very often, because I have piles of stuff everywhere; who cuts the acreage on his weekends and does other repairs instead of letting things fall apart; who plows the driveway and cleans off my snow-covered car--even at 4 a.m. Love looks like someone who puts his wife and kids before himself, and does so quietly, naturally, humbly. (I am so very blessed to have married a man who holds himself to high standards.)

What does love look like? Love looks like this.

Happy Valentine's Day, man. I will take your goofy wrinkle-dog face over eyes of adoration any day. Thank you for loving me, despite my piles.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Art

Lanie, the artist, comes in with her latest creation (this, moments after she discovers Erin ripping a collage Lanie had made to shreds ... and a very angry, tearful display and demands, "Mommy, you fix it!" It's never dull around here.)

She drew a picture of: a house, a tree with tire swing (and Lanie swinging from it), a sun, and a raincloud raining on one enormous flower. She explains the picture to me:

"It's my house. I live by myself. And that's me swinging on the tire swing, while Mommy is checking e-mail."

I guess when your one-year-old walks around with her hand up against her ear saying, "HA! HA!" you know you're on the phone too much. And when your five-year-old draws pictures without you in it because you're busying checking e-mail, somewhere behind the scenes in the picture, well ... you get it.