Friday, August 19, 2011


I've been terrible at keeping up with this blog, and part of the problem is that I miss a big event that I think that I must post about, and then don't post anything while I'm waiting for the time or inspiration to create that oh-so-necessary post. So I'm trying to play a little catch-up, but I'm also going to skip a lot of our adventures to get us somewhat up to date. Bear with me!

Thursday, June 02, 2011


Dear Claire,

It is hard to believe that seven years ago you were a teeny baby that I held incredulously in my arms. You are the one that turned me in to a mother, and that is the most amazing gift that anyone has ever given me.

Watching you over the past year as you transitioned to a new school has been a real learning experience for me. I expected you to be overwhelmed by the big new school, but instead you act as though you've been there all along. When I drop you off in the morning and you take the hand of our neighbor who is a little less confident than you are, it makes my heart happy. You are so good at figuring out when someone needs a little extra love or support and quietly providing that. A gift that I hope you will have for your whole life.

You played two seasons on the same soccer team, and have developed into quite a talented player. I hope that you will stick with it - there is so much that you can learn from playing on a team, and pursuing athletics. You, however, may have other plans. You've told me that you're already good at soccer, and you think that you want to try something else now. You are always looking for new things to try - you want to try ice skating and horseback riding and softball and swimming and ... everything. I struggle with the desire to give you everything that you want, and to try to keep some sanity in our family calendar.

All year I've watched you start new adventures, and every time you come home from a new place you tell me about a new friend that you've made. You have such a trusting heart, and you truly believe that everyone is as good and kind-hearted as yourself. I know that someday that is going to stop, and my heart hurts just thinking about it. You see only the good in other people, and that innocence is part of what makes you so special. I know I can't choose your friends for you, but I hope that you will continue to find ones that appreciate who you are.

You had a good first year in public school. I was worried about whether it would be challenging enough for you, and it wasn't always, but you did a great job anyway. Everyone at the school who knows you tells me how great you are, and it makes me so happy to know that they are seeing what I see. This year has intensified your love for reading - in fact you told me that your favorite place at school is the library. I can definitely relate to that!

I wish that I could sweep away your insecurities. You still have periods of shyness when going in to a new situation with a lot of people. You get very embarrassed if you know that you did something wrong, and there are other people around who saw. But more and more as you gather new experiences your confidence grows.

Every time I hear this song on the radio, the beginning makes me think about you, and the way that I feel. I love you, Claire-bear, and I can't wait to see what the next year brings!
Oh, her eyes, her eyes, make the stars look like they're not shining
Her hair, her hair, falls perfectly without her trying
She's so beautiful, and I tell her every day

Yeah, I know, I know, when I compliment her she won't believe me
And it's so, it's so, sad to think that she don't see what I see
But every time she asks me do I look ok, I say

When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change
Cause you're amazing, just the way you are
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while
Because girl you're amazing, just the way you are.
I love you!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Think pink...

That's right - soon there will be another little girl in the family. Here's what she thinks about it:

We think she's beautiful already - even though she keeps sticking her hands in front of her face...

She says, "I can't wait to meet you in July!" (July 24th to be specific....or as specific as a due date can be.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

For Ben, on your 5th birthday

Dear Ben,

It is hard to believe that my sweet little boy is five years old already. In some ways you want to be so grown up, and at other times you remind me so much of the toddler you were just a few short years ago.

While I hope to slow these years down and savor every minute, you are always wishing that you are older. You idolize most of the older boys that you know - both in the neighborhood and at school. We are blessed to be surrounded by a group of boys that let you join in with them without making you feel at all out of place. Even our neighbors who are 5 or 6 years older than you cheerfully respond to your greetings, and spend time talking with you and answering your questions.

At school this year you have made great strides. Your reading has improved so much, and you will sit down with me and read one of the books that your teacher sends home practicing a word or sentence over and over until you can read it completely with no mistakes. You are so proud every time you get to do one of the "long chains" at school, just like the kindergarteners. I have worried that your tendency towards being social will interfere with your learning, but so far you have proven me wrong.

You love to be out doors doing just about anything. This fall you played on a soccer team for the first time. The amount of energy and enthusiasm that you have amazes me. Especially since you still get up most days before 6 AM. You get out there, though, and go, go, go the whole time.

At this point, I can't imagine getting able to regularly sleep past 7 AM, but at the same time I treasure my early morning time with you. You snuggle up beside me on the couch, and ask me to put on a show for you. Sometimes you will sit separately, but sooner or later you reach over and put your hand on my cheek or shoulder. You need that physical connection, and it makes me melt every time. Often when we've had a busy day you will come up to me at night as I'm putting things away after dinner and say, "will you come sit and snuggle with me, because we haven't had much snuggle time today?" Now how could anyone turn down an offer like that?

Ben, the way that you interact with the people around you makes me so proud of the person that you are becoming. I can't wait to see what this next year brings.

I love you so much - you will always be my little boy,