Dear Annie, Lucy, Jack & Wyatt,
Today is Mother's Day...and although it is a day to celebrate mothers everywhere I cannot escape the fact that without the 4 of you I wouldn't be a mama. So today I also celebrate you, my most precious gifts.
There is no role in the world I cherish more than being your mama. It is the fulfillment of so many dreams and longings I have had over the course of my life and I count it all joy to experience life with you day in and day out.
You have each expanded my heart, deepened my understanding of love, and tested my strength more than I ever thought possible. I have had to grow in compassion, mercy and patience since becoming a mama - and sometimes I have not grown fast enough. Being a mama is a study in on the job training and sometimes we have all had to learn from my mistakes, for that I can only say I'm sorry and reassure you that everything I have done has been born out of my unending love for you.
There are days when I don't know if I can take one more little voice calling "MAMA" or one more little body climbing in bed with me or one more stain on the sofa or one more mess to clean up. There are times when I think the drama of "you like him/her better" or "she pushed me" or "he stole my cookie" will be the end of me. That I will just disappear in a cloud of dust while you stand around wondering what the heck happened.
But on those days and during those times I try to remind myself of the earliest moments in each of your lives. Those moments when it was just you and me, in a hospital room, spending our first alone time together. When I whispered my dreams for you in your tiny ears and when I gave voice to the deepest love I have ever known. In those moments I was changed - changed in ways that words cannot begin to describe. Changed in ways that would enable me to move heaven and earth to get to you. Changed in ways that will link my heart to yours forever - through life and death.
When you were all tiny babies I loved to kiss your toes and cheeks and hands and necks. But my favorite part of your gorgeous little bodies was your bellybutton - because that is where you were connected to me. It is a tangible reminder of how you grew in my body AND in my heart and it will be a part of you forever.
So on this day of celebrating Mamas, I celebrate you - my four amazing children. I revel in your unabashed love for me and I appreciate the wonderfully unique people you are becoming right in from of my eyes. Thank you for making me a mama and for making life so much more fun than I ever thought it could be!
I love you,
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Dear Annie, Lucy, Jack & Wyatt,
Posted by Beth at 12:58 PM
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I love snow. I mean I really love it. A lot. So when the big one was forecast yet again for points east of Pittsburgh I was jealous. I cursed the snow gods and did a snow dance all in hopes of conjuring up some significant accumulation here in the City of Champions.
Wow am I one amazingly powerful woman or what? What was predicted to be 8+ inches became 23 overnight and then another 10 on top of that a few days later. Lots of terms have been coined for the snowfall: snowpocalypse, snowmageddon, snOMG but my favorite is one is saw on a friend's facebook page: SNONAMI! The snow has become the conversation...on the radio, the news, the internet. My kids have been home from school all week. (which is another show of my power - after Aunt Nancy died during Christmas Break I wished in my heart for a re-do of that time off with my kids!) We are getting a bit of cabin fever but mostly we are trying to enjoy the time together. Here are some photos.
Posted by Beth at 11:16 AM
It is hard for me to believe that it has been over 2 months since my last post. I really wanted to blog more consistently but lots has happened and I needed a break. There was the usual - holidays and all the "busyness" that comes with them no matter how hard you try to calm it down. In addition to Christmas and New Year's both my parents have late December birthdays so there is a lot of celebrating!
But the real story is that my Aunt Nancy died. On December 28, 2009. Only 5 weeks after she was diagnosed with Acute
Myelg Somebigmedicalword Leukemia. 5 weeks. 35 days. Unbelievable. In early November she had a cold that hung on and then became pneumonia. December 28 she was dead. On my 40th birthday (Nov 28) she sang me Happy Birthday from her hospital bed - what a gift. I will never ever forget it.
To say that our entire extended family was devastated would be an understatement. Aunt Nancy was my mom's younger sister - and the mom of Taos and Summer and the wife of Uncle Dean. When things happen in what would seem to us to be out of order it is hard. Really hard. Aunt Nancy was 62, seemingly healthy, and FULL of life.
I loved Aunt Nancy I LOVE Aunt Nancy. I don't think my mind has fully grasped that she is gone. My heart definitely hasn't.
Posted by Beth at 10:55 AM
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
In honor of my 40th birthday here is a list of 40 of my favorite things (in no particular order).
1. ice cold diet coke from a can
2. the warm breeze of spring after a cold winter
3. the sleepy snuggles with a toddler after a nap
4. the heart swelling pride when my children accomplish something
5. holding hands
6. feeling the safety of love
7. fried cheese sticks with marinara
8. gin and tonics on Friday nights at the pool
9. hearing little voices having serious conversations
10. friends who are real and forever
11. mad mex
13. the quiet that comes with a big snowfall
14. days off of school
15. the look on a child's face when they see something amazing for the first time
16. deep long laughter
17. having both sons and daughters
20. my kids' school
21. my wedding day
23. the feeling of warm sand under my feet
24. playing the kevin bacon game on car trips
25. being involved in things that make the world a better place
28. new pajamas on Christmas Eve
29. the smell of sunscreen
30. my wonderful amazing miraculous children
31. soft kisses
32. down comforters
33. fires in the fireplace
35. living in the city
37. falling asleep
38. the sound of the ocean
39. polka dots
40. me, myself and I
I turned 40 last week...it's been a strange time. Truth be told I've always thought 40 sounded really old, like REALLY old. And I don't feel old at all - not one tiny bit. I am having a hard time reconciling the way I feel and the me I see in the bathroom mirror every morning with that number...40. It seems impossible.
People who are 40 are supposed to know more than I do about life, aren't they? It seems to me that by the time you have lived on this giant ball we call Earth for 14,600+ days you should know a little more than I do. I find myself changing more now that I did in my 20's. Back then I was so sure about everything - my views were as hard as stone and I was immoveable from my staunchly held positions. Now I'm sure of almost nothing and my views have changed in ways I wouldn't have predicted in a million years. 40 is surprising that way.
People who are 40 are supposed to have some sort of plan for the future right? Some thoughts of what to do when the kids are all in school and grown. Some inclination of what they want to be when they grow up or where they want to retire when the time comes. Well I have a different thought almost each and every day on those topics - and, well I have no clear picture of any of it. 40 is confusing that way.
And people who are 40, well aren't they supposed to have it together? Aren't they supposed to be firmly planted with roots growing deep? If so then why do I have all of these wild thoughts about pulling up my roots and going somewhere to do something radical with my family and our lives? What would that mean and how would it end up? 40 is life-changing that way.
It's been almost 9 months since I have blogged. I didn't intend to take a long break but I think it has been a good thing for me. I have had time to ruminate on lots of things I want to say and refine the voice with which I want to say them. So welcome back to my blog, I hope you'll settle in and stay awhile.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Please read this blog!
Pray for this young girl's family as they mourn her loss. And PLEASE, parents of young women...do NOT get this vaccine until it is researched further.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
As most of you know, Annie is in the third grade at the Environmental Charter School at Frick Park. All of the education there is infused with teaching the students to care for , respect and preserve our environment. It is located in regent square and Frick Park is their outdoor classroom. Right now it is only grades K-3 and it will add a grade each year until it is K-8. All of the classes go outdoors many times throughout the week for Environmental Science. They walk through the park and observe it's ecosystem and how the living and non-living things interact.
One day in December Annie's class was out on a hike and they came upon a homeless man laying on the ground. Anyone who knows Annie knows she is quite a sensitive little girl who loves people. When Alex was working in Oakland we would often meet him for lunch or dinner. If we ran into homeless people we would give them our leftovers or gift certificates for food...so Annie was familiar with the issue of homelessness and sensitive to it. But out on a hike with 20 third graders - it isn't smart to approach a stranger so the teacher wisely moved the class along. Annie came home that day absolutely broken hearted. She was just despairing over this man and that she hadn't been able to talk to him or help in some way. She just kept saying "mommy he must be so cold".
I started telling her about homeless shelters and the good work people in Pittsburgh are doing with the homeless. I told her to think and pray about what she could do to help. A few weeks later she came up with the idea of holding a blanket drive at her school to benefit the homeless. So with the full blessing of the principal at school Annie got up in front of the whole school and explained her idea. Since it was in February she called it the Have A Heart Blanket Drive. In just 10 days her classmates donated close to 50 blankets! On Valentine's day our family went down to Family Links' homeless shelter for youth in the lower Hill District and gave them the blankets.
It was amazing and Annie is already talking about expanding the drive next year to involve more schools. She is hoping to be able to donate more than 200 blankets next year. I'm attaching some pictures of Annie donating the blankets. Isn't she just amazing!