"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thoughts From A Nerd...

Am I the only one who still appreciates the good old-fashioned smell and feel of a new book? Technology is a wonderful thing and I know a lot of us couldn't live without many of the conveniences that it offers. But when did it become necessary to replace almost EVERYTHING with an electronic device. I am specifically speaking of the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. I'm sure most people are at least somewhat familiar with what they are, but just in case...they're eBooks. You buy the device and then you can buy downloadable books to read on them. At first thought, it sounds pretty nifty. I do think it would be interesting to play around with one some time. But I really hope this is not eventually going to replace your everyday run of the mill paperback or hardcover. Reading is more than just about the words on the pages. Its the feel of the book in your hands, your fingers turning the pages, smelling that new book smell, or hearing the sound that a library book makes when you open it (I'm referring to those hardback books that have a clear plastic cover to protect them from wear). To a lot of people this probably sounds a litte ridiculous or at least over-dramatic. But I'm sure there have to be some book-lovers out there who know exactly what I mean.

Hopefully eBooks won't replace real books in the same way that email replaced a heartfelt handwritten letter. I miss the way we used to write letters. Don't get me wrong, I like email as much as the next guy, and its definitely faster and more convenient. But I think its a shame that future generations won't have old handwritten love letters that their grandparents sent to each other, a quick note to Aunt Jane telling of a birth, wedding, or just everyday life, or even a postcard relating Uncle Bob's adventures. I have always thought its neat to read things like that, especially the ones from interesting times in history, like letters to and from a soldier in World War 2, or even as far back as the Civil War. There are even some letters from prominent people that have become semi-famous or well-known, like John and Abigail Adams or Ronald Reagan (both of whose letters were turned into books) and many more. I hate to think that we're leaving nothing behind. What will they have to relate to us? (Very few people even keep journals anymore.) How will they know we were even here!? I know that once again I might be a little dramatic and I may even be over-simplifying, but sometimes these are the things that just enter my mind. But also, its not just about the words on the paper. Its about the feeling of putting pen to paper, and even the excitement of getting something in the mail besides junk and bills! When someone sits down to write a letter or even a quick note on a postcard, they're taking the time to put their thoughts down for another person. They're saying to the recipient "you're worth my time and energy and I want you to know it". They're taking the time to write it, fold it, put a stamp on it, and put it in the mail. So, if you read this and even partially agree with me, take some time out and write a letter to someone you know. Even just a quick note will let them know you have a little more time for them than the 60 seconds it would take to send them an email.

Thanks for listening to my rants!!! Sorry to be so random!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day

I apologize in advance for the length of today's message...

This is the first Mother's Day that I've been able to get so excited! (Although I was thrilled to finally become a mother last year, the boys were only 2 weeks old and I was not getting out of the house very often, much less celebrating!) But this day has taken on a whole new meaning now... For the first 23 years of my life I was a daughter who made handmade cards and gifts or cooked a special treat for my own mom. Then when my mom died, Mother's Day was pretty much a day I dreaded every year. The entire weekend was usually depressing and I couldn't wait for it to be over. Not only because I missed my own mom but I was also aching to hold a child that would call me Mommy. But this year and for every year after, I WILL be called Mommy/Mom/Momma/Mother, and that makes me overyjoyed!

This year I still miss my mother and think of how different things would be with her here, especially about how much she would love being Grandma Vonne (her name was Yvonne and when I think of her now that's what I imagine my boys calling her). She was great with kids and loved them so much. When I was little she would teach vacation bible school in the summer, chaperone field trips and volunteered at my elementary school. Later on she worked at a daycare center and then had her own home daycare. Unfortunately she never got to see any of her 8 grandbabies. The first was born a year and a half after she died. I can only imagine the joy on her face at having so many little ones to kiss and hug and love and spoil. She would be on cloud 9!!!!! Mother's Day weekend is probably still going to be a little hard for me every year and it will never be as happy as it could be if she were here, but now I can celebrate my own motherhood and the fact that my mom showed me so much love while she was here that I can shower love onto my boys.

After I had the boys someone once told me something that I like to think about when I'm really missing my mom. The reason it took so long to get pregnant is because my mom and my grandmother (who died a week after my mom) were too busy holding my babies in heaven. I think that's a beautiful idea.

While we're celebrating motherhood...I have to tell you about an epiphany I had a few months ago. Two years after my mom died my dad remarried. It was really hard for me and my brothers for a lot of reasons - too much to go into now! The woman he married is perfectly nice and I have nothing against her but for a long time I was resistant to the idea of her being called Grandma. Almost right away after joining the family, my dad would refer to her as Grandma Terry to my nieces and nephews. I constantly told my husband "I can't believe they call her Grandma. She is NOT their Grandma, they have a Grandma. When we have kids they aren't going to call her that." But now that I do have kids, I've realized how important Grandmas (as well as all family members) are, and that its OKAY to have more grandmothers! It doesn't mean that my mother is any less of a grandmother just because they also have Grandma Terry. Just because she isn't on this earth doesn't mean I can't tell my boys about her and include her in their lives. In fact, I have aunts who I also consider grandmas to my boys. My aunts have ALWAYS been important in my life, and now that I have kids, they're also important to them. Without them, I don't know where I would be.

So my epiphany was that its okay for my boys to call my dad's wife Grandma, its okay to call my Aunt Nannie "Grandnan" and its okay for them to have a lot of grandmothers! In fact it enriches their life. I can't believe I was so silly about the idea to begin with! Love comes in all forms and from lots of different places, and how ridiculous for me to put a label on that, or to NOT put a label on it! I'm just thrilled for my boys to have so many people who love them...not just grandmas but grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins, 2nd cousins and more!!!!!

For this holiday, I encourage everyone to think beyond the obvious recipient of Mother's Day wishes. If there is anyone in your life that has been important to you or made a difference in your life, please call them or send them a card and let them know what they mean to you. This may be an aunt, a mother-in-law, even a cousin or sister. It may even be someone unrelated to you...a great friend, pastor or mentor. Tell them you love and appreciate them.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Haircuts, Footsteps and Applesauce

I have mixed emotions as I sit here tonight. First, I have to say that I'm definitely in no hurry for my boys to grow up...the time is already going by faster than I could have ever imagined it would. But I'm having a feeling that is somewhere between envy / jealousy / embarassment / worry. I'm not really sure how to describe it. What prompted this strange feeling? Let me explain...

I have a first cousin who writes a blog and a sister-in-law who writes a blog. One has a little boy a month older than my twins and the other has a little boy who is 6 weeks younger than my twins. Irony struck me when I saw the titles of 2 recent posts. One was "Walking and Haircuts" and the other was "First Haircuts and Other Firsts". Of course each one was accompanied by adorable little pictures of them sitting in the barber chair. I thought it was funny that they had both written about their little guys' haircuts, and a little ironic because my husband and I have been discussing how our boys are gonna need to get their hair cut soon. But it also made me think of other firsts and milestones that my boys haven't reached. Both of the previously mentioned tikes are also already walking. I NEVER wanted to be one of those moms who compare my kids to everyone else's, and believe me, I'm in NO hurry for them to walk (then I really will always be going in 2 different directions) or to grow up. Even though I know that sometimes twins develop differently and can sometimes be a little behind singletons, I can't help being a little concerned. Its not a competitive thing or a pride thing; I don't really know what it is. But I just want the best for my boys and never want them to feel different or inferior to anyone else. Obviously they're too young to know what that even means, but (being the worrywart that I am) I can't help but think about the future and how they'll feel if they have to deal with stuff like that. In my brain I know they'll all catch up and everyone will be more or less equal, but my heart doesn't always pay attention to my brain. My hearts looks at the fact that they aren't walking yet, they don't say many words (real words at least), and they're much tinier than other one-year olds. The size thing really bothers me. They're in the zero percentile - I didn't even know there was such a thing! I'm sure I'll write more about particular problem later...we've been having food issues! Who knew that MY kids of all people wouldn't want to eat!?