Monday, February 28, 2011

...and the snow rages...

I kind of feel like I'm stuck in this weird, snowy loop. It's been a long, long, cold, white winter. And here I am, another Monday. My children sleep, I stare outside at the snowy mountains, I watch the freezing wind whip through the trees, I wonder how the hell I ended up here. Then I stop myself. Take a minute to appreciate. Fantasize about sunshine. Beaches. Bougainvillea. Count the days til spring break. Realize I have no plans to go anywhere. Money's tight. Things are in flux. Try to stop the brain. Count the days. I'm almost 37. That sounds really old. Remember being young. Aimless, weekend amblings with my sister and Melissa. So many warm days. Absolutely free of responsibility. My one paying job (the same paying job, but more pay, back in the day).

The grace of February arrived in the face of beautiful guests. My mama first, sister and niece next. They appreciated the snow and cold in a different way. The way of total fascination. Of Piper shouting, "It's snowing!" and bursting outside to stand under the flakes until she's cold again, races back inside. It feels sometimes like I moved to a foreign country. I see so much of myself in my sister, in my mom, yet my lifestyle has changed so dramatically. How thankful I am that they come here, try to appreciate and understand my very different world.

I'm trying to call on the birthday spirit, the birthday wisdom, the promise of spring, but I'm coming up short. Maybe tomorrow when we officially welcome March I'll be able to have some perspective. For now, thank you Wendy for these beautiful pictures of the cousins. So many beautiful, cold memories! The sun will shine again. It has to...

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentine

I love Valentine's day. I've let go of romantic notions about special presents or heartfelt cards, but love the liveliness of the day. Being a teacher helps keep Valentine's Day alive and well in my world and I go through my bag of Valentine's with the same excitement I had when I was eight. Elie had her first Valentine's school party; they wore pajamas, ate heart shaped waffles and did an obstacle course.

I treated her to a mommy daughter Valentine's lunch at Bernice's where she finally was able to pick out a cupcake. It's so funny, after so much build up, she barely ate it. Sorta sucked the pink frosting off and then just went about her business. I guess she really isn't that interested in food.

The sun was out today. That was enough to make the day feel full and perfect. I love the first sunny days in these parts. People cruise in shorts and tee shirts even though it's 38 degrees. I feel it now too. I took my jacket off with the best of them. Elie and I took our treats outside and sat at the picnic tables.

Jeff's in Seattle working until Wednesday. It's night three. I guess I've done okay. I kind of rise to the occassion in a different way when he's away. I don't expect to get a break, so I don't ask for one. I'm a good, obedient little worker like that. I've just been enjoying my little chickens. The sweet dance that happens when it's just the three of us. Simple things. Making pizza (Your's is the green one and mine is the white one, right mommy? Such is life with food around these parts... )

Soaking in the hot tub. Destroying Eliana's room. Putting it back again.

Laughing at Soli's funny faces.

Kissing their beautiful cheeks.

Eliana is such a lover these days. I think she's back after that trauma that was Solomon's birth. She spontaneously tells me how much she loves me. Yesterday we had an exchange that went something like this:

Me: Do you know how lucky I am to be your mama? Els: Aw, mom. I really do love you. Let's hug.

It was so sweet it was like something off of some goofy sit-com. But we were feeling it pretty darn intensely.

My mom also made it over for a quick trip. The new direct flights offer kickin' deals every once and a while so she made it over for a mini lovefest. Elie played hookie from school and they spent their days together. I love the way she does different things with different people. With my mom it's all about tea and buiscuits, lots of reading and sewing and make-believe games with baby Melody. My mom appreciated my culinary skills and we enjoyed lounging and catching up. I love my mom. It kills me that my children are growing up so far from her. So far from both sets of grandparents. But this is the path we're on. So I'll settle for weekend love fests.

I am so damn appreciative of my family. So blessed. Even while we seem to burn the candle at both ends way too frequently, this is all that matters. These little people. These big people. My husband. My valentines.