Lord of the Roar

Recently, my three year old daughter has expressed fear of the “roar” at night.  Now, this is usually her word for dinosaurs, so at first I thought she was having nightmares.  But then, she started saying she was afraid of the “roar” before she even fell asleep.  Eventually, my husband figured out the she was afraid of the tree outside her window, which she can just see through the side of the window shades.  He is particularly sensitive to little things that might scare the kids, as he was terrified of the Tazmanian Devil that sat on a shelf in his room growing up.  So Grace is afraid of the tree, and this is how we’ve helped her. Every night (not naptime, she says she’s not afraid then) we hang a sheet over the window, to cover the gap in the shades.  Then, her pictures of Jesus and Mary are set on the pillow next to her.  These pictures have been with her ever since she moved into her own room, and we pray and kiss them each night.  Her devotion to Jesus and Mary is beautifully touching, and now, it becomes easy to assure her they are watching over her. I’m often reminded of the Veggie Tales song, “God is Bigger than the Boogie Man”, but in this case, God is bigger than the Roar!

Mother’s Day Moments

photo(11)Before Mother’s Day this year, I was trying to remember what we’ve done the last few years on Mother’s Day.  Neither Bobby or I could remember…  So, I’m capturing the moments this year, to look back on, because it was a lovely day.   The weather was warm and sunny, and the fields, mountains and yard are lush and green, with columbine and dogwoods blooming.  My mom had been staying with us for two weeks, while recovering from foot surgery, and my dad was here this weekend, to bring her home on Monday.  We all attended Mass at Christendom, and then came home to a yummy Mexican brunch, courtesy of my dad.  It was even a quiet, adults only meal, as both the girls napped well this afternoon.  I tried to nap too, but just rested a little while, then went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.

My mom and I relaxed by the “pool” (baby pool) with drinks and our books, while the girls played in the pphoto(14)ool, grass and play set.  Theresa loves splashing in the water, and also climbing up the slide and then sliding down backwards.  Gracie ran all around the yard, kicking the ball with Boppa, and playing with our baby chicks.  We had talked about going somewhere for a picnic this afternoon, but in the end just picnicked in our backyard.  After all, the view from the backyard is better than most places we could go.  Bobby made dinner; pulled pork sandwiches and coleslaw and potato salad from the store.

Later, after the girls went to bed, we prayed a Rosary and chatted with Mom and Dad.  It was a cozy, blessed day.  Time with those I love; my own mother, and the girls who make me a mom.  My dad and husband worked hard to make it a relaxing, special day.  Thank you, Lord.

{My First} Seven Quick Takes

Looking out my back window as I type and work.

1. The vegetables in our first raised garden bed are getting big and green.  We’ve been harvesting the salad blend for a few weeks, and the snap peas, carrots and beets are growing bigger every day.  I finally got my tomato plants in too, so they can start growing.

2. Our second garden bed was planted just last week.  Already, a few bok choy shoots are coming up.  Who knew they would sprout so fast?

3. The trees on thphoto(10)e mountains are finally all green; that soft, velvety new-growth green that last for just a few weeks.

4. Summer seems to have come early to Virginia.  The sky is hazy, the air is humid and the breeze is warm and gently.  Fine by me.  I love the summer.  If only we had a big pool….

5. Down at the edge of the lawn our ten baby chicks are enjoying the outdoors, and probably sleeping.  They are much like human babies, in  that they don’t do much but eat, poop, and sleep.  But my daughter loves them, and its really funny to watch her chasing them.

6. The birds have been busy in the martin and bluebird houses.  I took a quick look in a bluebird box, but couldn’t see any eggs.  Maybe their still working on the nest.

7. Toys have been multiplying in the backyard, as we play outside more and more.  Yesterday, my 10 month old climbed all the way up the little slide on the playset.  Getting so big!

Linking up with This Ain’t the Lyceum for 7QT.

For the Love(s) of a Mom

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*Note: I wrote this post for a contest on another blog.  The good (or bad) thing about the internet is that although it was not chosen for that blog, I can post it myself!  Anyway, I thought it was a good start for my own blog, where I expect to write only occasionally.

My driveway is lined with Burberry Pear trees, which don’t bear fruit but do produce the most amazing display of snowy white blossoms every spring, resulting in our own “White Way of Delight.” The trees are blooming now, with green and pink dogwoods also putting forth flowers among them. As I walked beneath them with my daughter, enjoying the warm sun, soft breeze and beauty of spring, I think of how blessed I am to be surrounded by people and things that I love. It’s so easy to get caught up in the messes, and chores and responsibilities that occupy much of a mom’s time. But seeing and appreciating the beauty and the blessings are necessary for me to love being a mom.

I love my two beautiful daughters. I love seeing the wonder and excitement as they discover new things, and enjoy new experiences. The smallest objects can fascinate them, like a worm or a puddle, or a weed. Children notice the little things in life, and as a mom, I would do well to observe these little miracles with them.

I love the view from my home. It’s so easy to focus on a screen, or on the messes and chores indoors that are endless. I have found it so important to get outside, or at least look outside, and soak in the beauty that surrounds me. I am incredibly lucky to view the Shenandoah mountains and hills spreading out in every direction from my backyard. But even if it’s just a single tree in the front yard, or a little bed or pot of brightly colored flowers, I think every home can have beauty out the windows. And birds and squirrels are generally everywhere. Stopping to watch them can be a fun distraction, and often I see more birds than I recognize, when I look out my windows.

I love to bake. Making something that nourishes our bodies also nourishes my soul, as I find stress relief and relaxation in baking even a simple loaf of bread or a batch of chocolate chip cookies. And when I’m really stressed, and I’m inclined to bake far more goodies than are good for us to consume, I can just share them with someone else. There are always families with new babies to cook for, or older people to visit or just friends to share with. Giving something I’ve made myself always feels like such a wonderful act of love, and everyone always needs good food to eat!

I love when my family is all together, myself, my husband, my girls, and we’re hiking or playing or gardening or reading together. I find myself in frequent awe of how much laughter and amusement children bring to life. I think how quiet and boring life was before I was a mom, and I wouldn’t go back to that for anything. But it’s hard, and sometimes I find it very important to put into words why I love motherhood, to remind me on the difficult days that this life, this beautiful, crazy life, filled with laughter and tears, noisy kisses and lots of hugs, has filled my heart with more love than I have ever felt before.

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