Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Grin.

(April 2016)

I really should quit watching it.

The Walking Dead. It's just this stupid show about zombies but UGH I am ridiculously invested in these characters. I know I need to emotionally detach a bit, but tonight it has really upset me and I just can't seem to stop thinking about it. I'm too invested, and I know it's silly - but I can't sleep.  In an effort to steady my heart , I search my mind for something to change the topic. It doesn't take me long to land on a truly joyful thought:

Ruby's grin. 

A scene from the day plays out in my mind.

 She's at the top of a slide. I'm waiting for her at the bottom so she doesn't fly off and hurt herself. Our eyes meet. A wide, toothy grin takes up her whole face; the whole room, it seems. It shouts of joy and mischief and delight all at once. She propels herself down the slide. Too fast. It's a good thing I'm at the bottom to catch her. She giggles and slithers out of my arms before I can kiss her. Her little hips wiggle as only a toddler's can as she hurries to the ladder to do it again. 

I snap a mental picture of This Grin on This Day and I play it over and over and over. Slowly my anxiety fades and I'm calm enough to go to sleep. I tuck it away in my tiny mind palace for safe keeping.

------

(July 2016)

This restaurant is loud but dinner with my family is going surprisingly well. The girls are all excited about ice cream for dessert, so conversation has been easier than it usually is when we're out to eat. Ruby looks up at me from her booster seat and smiles. I look across the table and ask my sister, 

"Do you know that Billy Joel song? "She's Got A Way"?"

"Yes of course", she says. My mom and stepdad are chewing but they nod that they are familiar with the tune as well.

"That line in it... 'she's got a smile that heals me'... do you know that one?"

"yes..."

"I feel that way about Ruby's grin."

"Absolutely. Yes. You are so right." Everyone nods in agreement. It's settled. That line is most definitely about her. 

Nothing more needs to be said and now Ruby is thirsty, so I help her to reach for her water and I wonder to myself just how many, many hearts this little girl will help heal with that smile.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Stargazing.


On only our 4th night ever of camping in our pop up camper, we had our first 3am 'potty situation'. I forgot to put a pull up on Piper and, well, she and I woke up to a wet bed. I quietly took care of things hoping not to wake the delicate sleepers on the other side of the camper. I scooped Piper up to take her inside the cottage where we were camping. We were both tired. 

With her arms and legs wrapped tightly around me, we made our way through the darkness to the house. In the distance, hidden frogs were croaking and the crickets softly played their song. Everything was still. Calm. I paused for a moment to look up. There were so many stars. 

"Piper! Piper, baby, look up. Look at all of the stars!"

With her hands still clasped behind my neck, she leaned back; arms stretched to their limit. Her hair hung loose as she tilted her head back to drink in the galaxy for the very first time.

"That's the Milky Way," I whispered... "and a shooting star!" Her first ever.

We paused in the quiet; in the dark. Looking up. She had never seen this many stars before. I can't remember the last time I had. The night was alive. A sense of peace and smallness and otherworldliness washed over me. Here on Earth, last week was brutal and violent. The calm glow of thousands of stars from thousands of years ago brought me such a sense of perspective and peace. It was exactly what I needed. 

We gazed a few moments more until I pulled her back to my chest. We held each other close, and carefully made our way inside. 



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Florida!

Last week, we took our first ever family vacation to Florida! Josh's parents came and my family flew down at random times throughout the week so that we were all together at the same time for a few glorious days! Here's a look at a few of the memories we made!


On our first day there, we left the girls with Josh's parents and went straight to Universal Studios to enjoy Harry Potter World again. A hearty dose of fun is so good for our marriage and we really had a blast getting lost in the wizarding world again. I don't expect we'll be back there again until it's time to take the girls to see it after they've read the books. Such a strange and exciting thought!



The next day, Pappy and Grammy decided to take Piper on a special date to the Animal Kingdom. They had a blast and got completely soaked in a downpour as they were leaving :)









Of everything we did, the biggest hit with the girls was, of course, the pool at the condo where we stayed.









and, of course, we spent one very, VERY hot day at Disney. We only lasted until 5:00. It was 93 degrees outside and the girls really hate the heat (does anyone like 93 though?), so we called it a day early. I went into the day determined to do what was best for everyone and not force us all to stay until the park closed. The girls are all quite young as well, so I think I had realistically low expectations for how the day was going to go and they were basically met, ha! Anyway, we did a few fun things and went got our Disney fix for at least a few years ;-) 









Disney real talk right here haha :-D







This next picture is hilarious because it shows Lindsay chasing Nora. It is one of a series of pictures where she basically crosses the entire frame chasing Nora. Nora helps me understand the leash backpacks some parents use. The girl can RUN.




On Friday afternoon we decided to give an "Escape Room" a shot. We did a 10 person game with a White House theme and we got out with 6 minutes to spare! 



On another note, my mom rented a 15 passenger van for the trip and we all thought she was going a little overboard for doing it but gosh did it turn out to be the best idea! We had so much fun cruising around in it and we just laughed and laughed and laughed. The night we took this picture we went out to a late dinner at Bahama Breeze while the girls slept at home with Grammy and Pappy. (Josh's parents)




Most importantly, we were together. That's what really matters the most in a vacation, isn't it? We didn't rush around trying to do too much, we focused on each other and had such a great time! I cried when everyone left. It's hard when highly anticipated events come to an end. But I feel so grateful that we were able to make this trip happen!