Day 22: Summer


We celebrated my oldest’ birthday today, and I enjoyed watching him do all the things he chose and seeing him have fun. What he wanted most today was to hang out with family and friends, and to have red velvet cake. ūüôā

Simple dreams come true.

I love being his mom, and I am thankful for another year together.

What are you celebrating this month?  Make it good!! xo

Life IS. Not fair.

I like to see the good in this world and focus my attention here. I choose to celebrate life daily, finding a nugget of happiness even  on the less than perfect days.

And even on the almost perfectly imperfect days, while I’m celebrating a moment of joy, I am aware that others are suffering.

Like today.

Today I was filled with joy, anticipating Christian putting on his first tuxedo as he was going to prom tonight. I was admiring my baby and how he has grown up into a tall, kind and handsome young man. I enjoyed watching my husband help him with his shirt buttons and cuff links. I loved watching his transformation in front of my eyes.

  
And while I was enjoying my moment of joy, I was thinking of Chase and his family and feeling their sadness. It’s been a year and a half since he passed away and it just doesn’t feel fair.  Life just is. Yin and yang. Joy and sadness, swirled.

*big sigh*

As we were getting ready, I happened to glance at Facebook and learned that my friend’s daughter passed away from a horrible disease, cystic fibrosis. I felt for their family and the pain they are experiencing today and that will continue. I was crying tears of happiness and sadness at the same time.

I think we are all connected and that their children, are our children. And their pain, is our pain.  And the other mamas, are part of me too.

As I was feeling joy and celebrating my son tonight, I was also feeling sadness for their loss. Yin and yang. Life is. Not fair. It just is. 

nAMaste, BeLOVErs – wherever you are in this moment of life. 

Rest in peace, Hunter.

New Driver

This was weird. Today my son and my husband happened to be driving next to Juliana and I, as Christian wanted more driving practice (Juliana snapped this picture.) Having him right next to me, yet in another car was strange.

I’m excited for him to be practicing and knowing that he’ll soon be able to drive on his own and can get himself where he needs to be and maybe even help drive his siblings and run errands for me. I’m also a bit melancholy, thinking that he’s growing up and taking flight and once he can drive early next year, he’ll be on his own much more and will need me even less. I’m letting go, letting out the heart strings a little more, like we all do and feeling the growing pains. ¬†Yin and yang, and today I caught another glimpse in the rain, of joy and fear.

I wish you well Christian and know you will be your best and am excited for you and your growing independence. Keep up the good work.

nAMaste

Happy Together

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My teenagers came home tonight from their service trip, after being gone for a week, and I could not be happier.

I cried when I saw their faces again and I know it’s only been a week, but it’s symbolic of what’s to come in the next couple of years, I know.

They are growing up and are independent, needing me in different ways. I love these compassionate and thoughtful humans and am so happy to have them back with us again. I loved coming home together, sitting around the table, eating ice cream and hearing their stories about their journey and experiences.

I am thankful they had such a great time and are safely home again.

nAMaste

Celebrate Good Times

I am still in celebration mode with the end of the school year wrapping up and have more good times to share. We’re tired and we are arguing a bit more than usual, and yet we keep on going, of course!

We came to celebrate Charlie today for being recognized for his math skills.   

 

After his award assembly, we had another celebratory party to recognize the Future Scientists and Engineers of America. They had their last class today and celebrated with cake and chips and fruit and drinks.  

 

We found the bench at the elementary school, which is dedicated in memory of Lynn Rose, who served as a mentor and giver to our community, and who Juliana was given a memorial award to in her honor last night. We ran into teachers who congratulated her and told her that she was well deserving.

 
And one last celebration was being able to all join Christian for his swim team awards.  He’s come along way and has been dedicated to practicing every day even with his injuries. 

 

I am proud of my kids and am glad that they have found activities that they love.

What are you celebrating this week?

Life is good – celebrate!!

xoxo

Last Walk-a-Thon


This one enjoyed walking his last laps today and was ready to go home early. He insisted he was done with his laps and did enough for the day with 26 laps. I don’t blame him as it was very hot and I am happy he chose to participate.

From the soccer field we moseyed on down to the pool to see CJ do his thing at his meet. I love this shot of him and love that he’s enjoying swimming every day.
Juliana had fun meeting her friends at Starbucks after school and joining me to watch her brothers. I love that they all support and love one another.

Being with my kids and watching them enjoy themselves are some of my favorite things.


What are some of your favorite things?

Life’s Moments

Do you ever feel like sometimes life stands still and you actually get to stand back and take a snapshot and really see a moment?

Do you know what I’m talking about?¬†

Every so often, I feel like time stands still and I have clarity and can really see and be present in that exact moment. 

Today I had one of those.

Christian returned from his Caravan journey and it was such a touching and meaningful moment, that I almost missed. I was scheduled to play a finals USTA tennis match tonight at the exact same time of his arrival. ¬†Before he left, I had asked him if he minded me missing his homecoming because of this big game, and of course he said no. ¬†He knows how much I love playing tennis and that our team has been doing very well. As the week went by, I was feeling worse and worse about my selfish decision to play, even though I knew my team needed me. I was so torn. Then on Thursday, I ran into an angel at Charlie’s sports camp, who asked me if I was going to be there for his arrival and I told her my story. She said I really wouldn’t want to miss this moving experience and from that moment, I knew I couldn’t play. ¬†Luckily, the night before last, I got an email with our team lineup and there was a backup player available to cover anyone who might have an issue.

I had an issue. I had mom guilt. I couldn’t play anymore. I knew I had to be there for his arrival and couldn’t be two places at once. I wanted to be there to greet Christian and to see his face and to hear his story about his journey, first hand. Luckily, I was given a pass.

I have been anticipating his arrival all week. Today I spent a couple hours deep cleaning his room, kind of like in preparation for his arrival, as if I was having a guest come over. I think I was nesting, just like what you do before you have a baby and you want everything to be just right for the baby’s arrival. Just this time, it was my big baby’s arrival back at home again.

I wanted to do something nice for him, so I decluttered, dusted and created a clean space for him. Juliana made¬†a welcome home sign and hung it on our garage door that said, “Welcome Home, Christian.” ¬†We were anticipating his arrival and were so excited.

We were at church, when the Caravan crew arrived. They opened the doors and the kids and all the advisors came in and walked past us seated on the benches, to the front of the church to their reserved seats, while we sang and clapped and I cried. I kept crying because I am overly emotional and feel so deeply.

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I cried for several reasons.

I cried because I was happy to see his face again.

I cried because I was so proud of him.

I cried because I couldn’t hug him right away and wanted to touch him.

I cried because I know he grew up this week and had a life changing experience without me, which is great and wonderful and perfect, but I still felt like I missed out. I am attached and am in the process of detaching as moms should do. I just didn’t know that this was happening right now. But now I do, and I’m ok with that. ¬†Just weepy. ūüėČ

I cried because I was fully aware that he is growing up and becoming more independent, doing exactly what he is supposed to do. And that means that my role is changing. I felt the transition tonight. And I cried for that too. Moms of grown kids – I know you get this. I’m just beginning. I get it. ¬†I am feeling it and it’s really ok.

I am so thankful that I ran into Colleen and she guided me to be there for the homecoming tonight. Thank you, Colleen.

I am so thankful that we belong to such a great church community, filled with love and teaching my kids to be loving and giving and providing this wonderful service opportunity for them, that is also helping them to grow up with grace. 

I am thankful that Christian is home again and that he had such a remarkable experience. I loved hearing his stories about the people he met, the work he did, and the friends that he made.  

And my tennis team, they won tonight!! I stopped by at the end of the match and was able to witness our final win in a tie break, with the lady who took my place and my partner. They all understood me and get it – they are moms too. And we’re all in this thing together. Thank you Gloria and Reid – for being great captains and for supporting my last minute change of mind. You are the best!!

Life is good!

Day 62: A Message from Christian

Hello, this is Christian

I wanted to tell everybody about how my experience has gone here. It has been 2 months today, and we have all our stuff, school and soon, our car! School has been the big thing for me. One month so far into it I am doing great. The school teaches you how to think deeply into everything, even PE. Homework is so much cooler and easier because all the home work is due either 2 days after it is given or one week later. My schedule¬†is different than a California schedule. ¬†In California, you have the same classes each day, but here you have five classes on a block schedule each day and then you switch and have five different classes the next day and then it rotates again. I take 2 electives: painting, design technology (not architectural) and 2 languages: Mandarin and Dutch. I am training for the basketball team with my friends. Speaking of friends, I have 7 new, great friends who are basically like an extra large package who consist of 5 Dutch boys, one French and one British. The Dutch friends have taught me some Dutch, and the French and British buds teach me great soccer. Today I shared a little bit of American culture, an American football!! My friends, Luca, Matt, Max, Xander, Henk, Wybe and I all played but eventually the other team made up of 3 inexperienced Dutch kids beat my team, 14 to 7. They were all happy and wanted to play again. I am¬†probably¬†most happy here now because I have friends, family, and a place where I belong. I love this country, the people places and how easy it is to travel around. 1 thing I do dislike is the rain, but overall I’m good. Hope whoever is reading from Sunnyvale, or from my family will comment, or subscribe to this blog and keep in touch!

Best wishes, Christian

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I saw a double rainbow today!