25 meters

Jun 25

Ahhh, summer. Maren is having her first experience with being on a swim team.  She had her first “race” this week.  As she in the youngest class of swimmers, there are older swimmers in the water to help her (them) along if necessary.  The man sounds the horn, and all the 6-and-unders line up.  None of them are brave enough to get up on the starting blocks, and they all look simply adorable in their mini team suits and their goggles.  Maren jumped in from the side of the pool (next to the block), and swam her very best free-style (with a fair amount of doggie paddle) down the length of the pool.  When she finished, she climbed out, received a lollipop and a rainbow participation ribbon for her efforts.  I greeted her at the end of the lane ready to congratulate her on her first 25 meter swim.  She spots me, and rushes over as she clutches her candy and ribbon.  As she reaches me, she immediately bursts into tears. “Mom!” she said through her sobs, “That was so HARD.  I didn’t fink I was going to finish it.” “Maren, you did it, I’m so proud of you.  That was awesome.  You were awesome.” She looked at me through her tears; she was choking on her emotion.  “But it was so hard.” I’ll never forget that face; she was so indignant that it has been so taxing.  It wasn’t exactly fun in the way that she is used to having fun.  I grinned at her, squeezed her tight, and said, “But you did it, sweet girl.  You. Did. It.” Ten minutes later, she was all smiles and showing off her ribbon.  She’s still unsure about whether she liked it, but she is, most definitely, proud of herself.  And that is a Mommy Moment that keeps bringing tears to my eyes when I think about it. I was an athlete and I remember that vivid point-of-exhaustion that Maren hit on Tuesday night.   Lips are blue, legs are shakey, heart is bursting, lungs are burning.  Maren is right, that feeling does make some part of me want to burst into tears.  But, once the shakiness passes, in comes that...

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These days are happy days

Jun 12

These days are happy days

As I tumble through these first weeks of summer, I have so many thoughts, and I don’t even know where to begin. It is fantastic to have Maren around all day, every day.  I realize how much I’ve missed her during those short 2.5 hour days of kindergarten.  Yesterday while I folded laundry, she made a fairy house out of a shoebox.  She made her own 3D furniture out of paper, she cut holes for windows (and breathing), and it was all her own idea.  I love this kid.  She comes up with ideas like this daily. Greta has moved into a new stage; she has developed her imagination, her communication, and her creativity.  It is awesomeness that Brad and I would like to bottle.  I love this little girl.  She’s obsessed with the purses and the small bottles of hand sanitizer.  She trots around with her purse and asks anyone who she deems worthy, “Woodju wike some hansanasizwer?”  She is so fun, and funny, at the same time. Brad had a lot of vacation the past two weeks, and now that he is back at work this week I miss him.  The girls and I have our rhythm and routines during the day, but everything comes together when Brad is with us.  I love my family. This summer I am breathing in God and all He has given me.  Brad and I are filling the calendar with all the fun things we have planned for this season.  I’m noticing Maren’s new freckles, and that I need to just sit and just snuggle with her every day.  It’s her love language.  When I put Greta in her crib for naptime and bedtime, she gives me a big hug and says, “I wud you Mommy.”  Then she waits for me to say, “I love you, too Greta.  See you after you sleep,” before she lays down to go to sleep.  Melts my heart. These days are happy days.  I. Love. My. Life. The quiet reminders of just what I have overcome are always close at hand.  I have the scars and the memories and the t-shirts that are the talismans of my cancer journey and they illuminate the blessings in...

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