May 14, 2013

The Graduate

It. is. DONE.

We are done.


We've got the diploma, mortarboard and tassel to prove it.

It was a great day. A little muggy, cloudy and warm, but it was great. The ceremony was short (thank you Willamette University for understanding that the last place we want to be on Mother's Day is in an auditorium listening to speakers drone on and on. Which, they didn't, for the record. All the speeches given were 10 minutes or less.)

I cried when they had the families of the graduates stand up to be acknowledged.

I cried because I remembered the countless evenings where I got the kids ready for bed myself, which at the time, didn't seem that hard, but looking back, it was a bit of a sacrifice. I cried because I remembered all the times he came home stressed out and frustrated due to some assignment, paper or presentation he was working on. I cried because I felt like I was getting a little prize for my {puny} contribution to this great achievement.

I cried when they put his hood on and handed him his diploma.

I cried because I remembered how scared we both were when we started this and how we thought it was never going to end. And suddenly, it's ended. We are at the end of one journey, but we are just beginning a new and exciting and scary adventure.

This guy right here? I'm beyond proud of him. He is amazing. Uh-MAZ-ing I tell you. He worked his tush right off. And through all his amazingness at school, he somehow became even more amazing at home. He helped me with the kids, he did the dishes (have I ever mentioned how much I despise the dishes?) he took Claire on little daddy daughter dates to the store or for a little $.99 cone or just to the park down the street so that I could get things done in the apartment. I'm telling you, I hit the jackpot in the husband lottery. I don't feel like I deserve him most of the time, but I sure am grateful he still thinks I'm alright, despite my many imperfections.

Thanks for being a rockstar hon. We're over the moon about you.

May 2, 2013

I know He loves His Children

2:00 this morning rolled around and I was still awake. I was rocking a sick little boy back to sleep for the 3rd time and frustration was quickly rearing it's ugly head. I decided it was time to sing some lullabies to help ease him back into his semi peaceful slumber and to help improve my mood. I began singing the first song that came to mind, which was a primary song. I've found primary songs are my very favorite lullabies. As I made my way through the various songs, I started singing, "I am Like a Star". For those of you unfamiliar with the lyrics to this sweet and simple song, they go like this-

"I am like a star shining brightly
Shining for the whole world to see
I can do and say
Happy things each day
For I know Heavenly Father loves me."
{Find the song here}

As I sang this song to my little boy, I was struck by the simple truths that were stated in this song and my mounting frustration at being awake instantly melted away. As I continued through my little primary/lullaby repertoire, I came to another song that I have sung hundreds of times, but the words at the end, once again, struck a chord deep within my soul. 

"What does the Father ask of us?
What do the scriptures say?
'Have faith, have hope, live like His Son
Help others on their way.'
What does He ask?
Live like His Son."
{Find the song here}

I had this overwhelming peace settle over me as I continued to sing these songs, and I had this amazing moment of clarity. Moments so poignant are not a regularity for me, and I held onto it as long as I could. My mind swirled and whirled with thoughts of my need to serve others, how I have the ability to be happy and joyful and how I know I have a Father in Heaven who loves me so completely and perfectly, it sometimes takes my breath away. 

Then I looked down at that perfect little boy in my arms and felt like I was catching a glimpse of heaven. My children do that for me quite often. Give me a glimpse of heaven, that is. Their smiles and giggles and curly hair and blue eyes and perfect little fingers and toes remind me of the precious gifts they are to me. The only way I can give gratitude for these gifts is to love them completely and to, "do and say happy things each day" and, "have faith, have hope, live like His Son, help others on their way." 

Now all of this is not to say that things go perfect and smooth all day every day. Quite the opposite, I assure you. Just this afternoon, I was feeding Declan when all of the sudden, I see a stream of pee coming out of the brand spanking clean outfit I had just put on Claire. I couldn't do anything about it at the moment because I was in the middle of feeding, but as soon as I was done, I hurried to change her outfit (which included a pair of gloves that she had gotten for Christmas. No idea, don't ask) and as I took off the gloves (she had been touching her pee-soaked shorts with them, yuck.) she dissolved into a puddle of tears and tantrum. I tried to calmly explain that we couldn't wear them anymore, but no, she would not have it. In frustration, I told her it was time for lunch and set her in her high chair, still sobbing, and handed her food. Just as I was about to lose it, I looked over at my piano and saw this print sitting on top. 

{Image via Paper Coterie}

I stopped dead in my tracks. In less than 12 hours, I had had 3 not so subtle reminders of who I am and whose I am. I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, He loves me and I love Him and He wants me to be happy. So, today I am choosing happy. Today, I am trying to do and say happy things and I am trying to have faith, hope and charity. 

Today is the perfect day to start.