Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oh, How the Years Go By ...

We are experiencing a great few days with Leon's family in Colorado Springs, Co. Mom and Dad Jameson and the whole family out here are so happy to see Baby Girl Sydney, and it touches our hearts to see their joy and happiness just "being" with her. I guess you could say they have spoiled her rotten - but not entirely. They've just taken every opportunity to shower her with love and attention in the few days they have to be one-on-one with her. It's a joy for Leon and I to see.

Last night, Mom and Dad hosted a terrific BBQ (and I think they invited most of the Springs!) to fete their new granddaughter and allow their friends the chance to rejoice with them (and us). Syd was a champ - and really has been a super traveler managing planes and long car rides, altitude and new faces, and sleeping in new places with her trademark contentedness! We even took a mountain walk yesterday and she seemed to marvel at the mountains and unique plants right along with us.

At the BBQ, some of our long-time best friends stopped by! Oddly enough, most of our best friends from college seem to have all made Colorado "home" - and so we spent time with Jeff and Amy Meinz and their brood and Paul and Jackie Roggow and their twin sons (and we have Micah and Amanada Steiner and Tasha and Dan Fingerlin all here in Colorado as well!). What fun it was to laugh and be together with our children - slightly surreal to be sure, but really wonderful!

Here we all are - and I can't help but think that before we know it, we will be posing for a photo just like this one, but our babies will be grown ... Sydney is only just about 7 months old, but already I have this niggling sense that the years will move, move, move and before we know it - she will be old like us ;-) Let's hope we continue to be "in the moment" and drink in these days as slowly as we can!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

$pending time ...

Leon, Sydney, Bailey, and me - we are a little family. We don't take up too much space on this good ol' planet, really. We aren't famous, wealthy, or too, influential. But oh my! Are we big in love and spirit and fun. And we are learning to make the most of the time we have together: evenings, early mornings, and weekends.

I once heard someone say that it's misleading to tell people that you don't "spend" time, but instead you "invest" time ... An investment yeilds more of what was invested. And you can't gain more time no matter what you do. "No," this wise person said, "time is a limited commodity. And we spend it." Sometimes frivolously; often thoughtlessly; rarely wisely. For our little family, we spend our together time fully and completely. We draw every possible value out of every last penny ... er, second ... of time! I love that about us.

As a working mom, I have been living for my weekends with my precious daughter and loving husband. It's been a busy, busy summer with servant events and national youth workers events and all that those events bring ... but now, the insanity is over and "life" should (in theory) be hitting something of a routine.

Huzzah for routine!

This weekend was - what I found myself calling - a vacation weekend. We didn't go anywhere "special", but from Friday afternoon, when I finally hit the door after a week spent editing down at KSDK (fun! but long!) and we made a big pitcher of margaritas, ate one of our fave dishes - toasted walnuts, olive oil and four cheese raviloi (I know - totally doesn't go with margaritas, and we totally didn't care!) - and watched TiVo'ed episodes of The Office, the weekend was a time for our little family to immerse itself in love and nurture and laughter and play!

Saturday morning, Sydney and I walked to our neighborhood coffee house, while Leon played tennis with his buddies. We swam lots in Grandma and Papa's pool and even BBQed on Sunday evening. Leon and I enjoyed wine country with a group of friends celebrating a 25th wedding anniversary. ... We danced in the kitchen with Sydney. We had family tummy time (Bailey, too!) ... I read an entire novel (boo! total terrible ending, but until then a great read!) We planned our vacation for the next year and went over our schedules.

From start to finish, it was a wonderful, relaxing, vibrant weekend.

You know that Switchfoot song that says, "this is your life, are you who you want to be?" Well.



What energy this full, big, loving, fun, relaxed weekend gave me. Monday morning? Bring it on!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

232 years and counting ...

I love the 4th of July. I love the picnics, parades, pagentry ... I love gathering with folks from my hometown to "ooh" and "ahh" in collective wonder at fireworks displays that each year seem better than the last. I love that long late night walk back to the car through historic Saint Charles, with the bunting draped off the balconies and front porches of homes that are so grand and old and that seem to exhale deep sighs filled with their own historic perspective.

Usually, each year, I watch "A Capitol Fourth" on PBS, and if I don't watch it live - I TiVo it. (Yes, I am one of those dorky people, I suppose.) And each year, I make my impassioned, "Next year in Washington" toast - of course, I haven't made it there yet ... but one day, I will watch the fireworks from the lawn of the Capitol and wave my Stars and Stripes, embarrass myself by dancing to old time artists who probably ought to have retired years ago (and actually, probably did, but have been lured out to play once more for the forgiving crowd gathered in D.C. ... this year, it was Jerry Lee Lewis), and shed a tear, or two, or twenty as the Marine Corps band plays Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever," and the Boston Pops takes a backseat to the fireworks with its bold performance of the 1812 Overture.

Yup. Someday.

This year found Sydney and I celebrating without Leon - he was on his way home from an uber successful youth servant event. So, we decked out the house, and loaded up enough gear for 20 infants and their moms, and spent the day at Grandma and Papa Staude's house with my sister and her family. Sydney was outfitted in a flag dress, complete with a Fleur de lis bib (I felt this to be the most obvious choice, given how the French assisted us with our victory all those years ago ... see ... a dork ...)

And while my nephew, Gabe, and I worked together on a very special 4th of July themed dessert, it was with great enthusiasm that I explained to Gabe just what makes the 4th so special.

What a wonderful moment (for me at any rate), as we made our own "Stars and Stripes" and debated how best to place the blueberries so as to make it "look like" we made stars, and took notice of the flag out front to get our "strawberry stripes" just right, and talked about why people from England are called British ... We talked about George Washington and "I cannot tell a lie" and the Revolutionary War (boy, I bet that kid was wishing his Auntie wasn't a former history teacher!) ... but it was wonderful, really.

Sunday Leon was home and so we hosted a brunch at our house and then spent the later evening back at Grandma and Papa's playing in the pool. ...

As a working Mom, I deeply treasure my weekends and this holiday weekend was absolutely no exception. I want to draw every drop of Sydney-Mommy-and Daddy time that I can from the few precious days each week when it is "just us." ... Last 4th found me exhasuted and preparing for the Gathering and really too tired to much notice my beloved holiday. This year, I felt invigorated and inspired by the very idea of being a parent and raising my child here in the United States. We have much for which to give thanks, much to be working to correct, much to be challenged by and working for as a country that has been tremendously blessed. I am so proud to be part of that work and I am humbled by the notion of raising a child who is kind, courageous, patriotic, compassionate, independent, and free. What a country for her to know and love.

Happy 4th of July!