Thursday, August 17, 2017

In each other's arms.

Last week I picked the girls up from the children's area at our gym, and was immediately told by Nora that another little girl had been picking on her. Not just picking on her, but actually pinching her. She sounded worried and sad about it, when Piper piped up and said, "She came and found me and I held her until she felt better, mom."

Then they walked out of the gym like this:



and of course we talked about finding a grown up next time there is a problem but my heart swelled as they walked out together in each other's arms. I am so thankful for their sisterhood. I am so thankful to witness (and help foster) their friendship. I am thankful that they have each other to walk through life with. 


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Happy 3rd Birthday, Ruby and Nora!

Today was Ruby and Nora's third birthday! It is so cliche to say, but wow the last three years have gone by so fast. It is hard to even imagine what it felt like on day one of twin parenting. We had so many uncertainties about the future. We had no idea what lay ahead except for foreboding predictions of how hard the next couple of years would be. and they were! They were so hard. They pushed me further than I knew I could be pushed physically, mentally, and emotionally.  There were days that were tough. I can't stress that enough. 

But the reality is that today, their birthday, is always so special to me. Every year feels monumental. We've made it another year! I've jokingly called it the McCracken Family Holiday. It is a big deal for all of us. The last two birthdays have had an overwhelming feeling of, "whew! We've survived! We've made it!". and today felt like just a complete celebration. A celebration of how far we've come. Of how much we have grown. Josh and I have never been more solid than we are now. We have never taken better care of each other than we do now. Having three children so close together forced me to really learn how to take care of myself. I realized that my emotional and mental health were essential to being a healthy mom so I went on a journey seeking ways to care for myself, even while caring for my family (If you're wondering, that looks like exercising regularly. Eating well. and having time for myself every morning to drink coffee alone on my front porch or in front of my fireplace depending on the season. Self care doesn't take much for me right now.) 

So today, while the girls were out with their grandpa, I went for a run. But I didn't listen to upbeat music that would motivate me to run faster, I listened to music by Sleeping At Last, which is music that really touches my heart. I have just recovered from a couple of injuries and I was yearning for a good run. As I ran, I felt so strong and so healthy. Mentally and physically. I was listening to the lyrics of the song "Light" which is about parenting, and on a path by myself, and a momma deer and her baby paused on the path in front of me and I tell you what, I just raised my hands just praising God and praising life and praising all of the good in my life. Opening my hands, skyward, just feeling utterly present and open and grateful. Overflowing. I could have cried, honestly. How is this my life? How did we survive and come out stronger, better, and happier? Isn't it supposed to go the other way? Won't it eventually anyway? None of it mattered. We are good. We are good. My girls are good. All of them. They are healthy and beautiful. Precious and wonderful. Thoughtful and kind. I came home and cut flowers from my garden and got ready for the day. I told Josh that my run felt worshipful. It was. I don't know how to explain it, but it was.

It was a perfect day. We woke up with balloons on the stairs ("Mom?! ARE THESE BALLONS FOR MY BIRTHDAY??" -Nora) We spent the day spontaneously singing happy birthday. We got mcdonalds for lunch (what a treat ;-)), we swam together off of the pontoon. We opened gifts. We ate pizza for dinner because I didn't want to be cleaning and cooking rather than enjoying my girls birthday. We ate cake. We camped. (I'm writing from the camper now.) It was so special. 

We got Piper a gift. Something small, a Moana necklace. Ruby and Nora got the little gifts they requested too. Sometimes I wonder if someone might think it is silly that we get Piper gifts on Ruby and Nora's birthday. I couldn't care less if they do. The thing is, the birth of twins at such a young age... for Piper... they are completely intertwined in her life. They do everything together. They are a tour de force, these girls of mine. Flanked on either side by their sisters. They enter any room and any scenario with the confident assurance that they are already surrounded by love and outnumber any bully. It almost makes no sense that they have different birthdays at all. and so I didn't see a point in forcing her to sit out the festivities. She has put up with a lot over the last three years and I wanted to celebrate what having twin sisters meant for her, too. So she got a small gift. She will probably always get a small gift. 

Anyway, I am rambling. This is writing I don't do. I prefer to be much more carefully crafted and thought out. I worry about what people think who read this, but the reality is that almost no one reads this, haha! So I just want to reclaim this space to be a little more free with my words and thoughts. Today was perfect. It was such a gift. 






and here is the series of pictures depicting me falling in, after I had carefully boarded the flamingo without getting wet, ha!









Thursday, July 20, 2017

Notable.

I have a very specific memory of reading a very specific article concerning a very specific age that is said to be a woman's "most beautiful". At 25, I thought it was fascinating and random that this writer pegged 31 years old as a woman's "most beautiful". I don't know why it stuck with me, but it always did, and I wondered how I would feel at 31 years old. (and more importantly, 32...44....65...?)

So it is notable to me, that for some reason, this year, I feel more healthy and happy and satisfied in my own skin than I ever have. I wear less make up than I've ever worn. and I have started to let my hair dry naturally and just embrace whatever it does. and rather than it being something that is lazy (although it certainly is a lot easier) the main reason I am doing this is because I like it. I like the way my hair looks naturally.

Which is just, so weird. Since high school I have scorched it with straighteners, wands, curling irons, blow dryers... everything. I've never left the house without it "done" to some capacity. and I mean never.

Until this year.

So, here is a picture of me (with make up on) coming home from a date. With my hair natural. I loved it so much that I took a selfie. 

What I'm wondering now is if, perhaps, the thing that makes a woman the "most beautiful" at 31 has more to do with her inner spirit. Her acceptance of herself. Her knowledge of herself that she gained in her in her 20s. With still a touch of youth and a more solid grasp of who she is, no wonder 31 is a great year in terms of "beauty".

Anyway, you know, just being a little vulnerable here. I'm not one to post many selfies. But like I said, notable things deserve to be noted ;-)