April 13th, 2014 By Molly
Our little football savant has been asking to play the game for a couple years. We said no the first year and yes the second, but the team we signed him up for didn’t come to fruition. Enter year three and he’s signed up for tackle in fall of 2014. As a precursor and a chance to get some rules down and practice in, we signed him up for flag this spring.
Last weekend, Mike and Finn went cleat shopping. Upon their return, they played catch until Mike’s shoulder gave out. When Mike came in, Finn stayed out alone, doing laps around the open area next to our house. This kid is in spring training!
I’m a huge fan of watching young kids’ sports–Logan, Mike and I enjoyed every minute. If you ask me, at this age, it’s like the best stress relief ever. We cheered him on like crazy; this little guy has some moves! (I hear they’re called “jukes” or something like that?? I need to work on my football terminology!) Finn cracked us up as he asked his very patient coach ten million questions about every play. Finally, while walking to the sidelines, the coach said, “Geez dude, you ask a lot of questions!!” We all burst out laughing, including Finn. I just think he wants to get it right, I mean really wants to get it right!!
After yesterday morning’s game, I am so looking forward to this season. It is a thrill to watch Finn so completely involved in and loving every moment! This was never the case with baseball or soccer–he’s right–he’s a football player! And while I think he may love to be running the ball more than anything else, yesterday also gave him a taste of the other positions he didn’t think he’d want to play. And guess what? Dad is right–defense is fun, too! The next eight Saturday mornings will definitely not disappoint!!
Here are a few shots of number 13’s “debut”! Send good growing vibes and pray he doesn’t get his height from his mommy!! One night last week at bedtime, he asked, “Mom, do you think I have a good chance at getting in the NFL?”
And of course I said, “Finn, I think you can do anything you really want to do!!”
April 8th, 2014 By Molly
This gorgeous young woman was all dressed up for her flute solo on Saturday–looking mighty grown up, I might add. Seeing her this way way icing on the cake to our Friday night, when Logan was picked up by a neighbor for her first-ever, later-night babysitting gig. As she walked down the driveway with the dad who came to get her, I looked at Mike, mouth agape as the shock set in. Seconds before, it hadn’t even occurred to us what a milestone this was.
I’m certain just weeks ago, I was walking down the driveway with the dad of the family I was babysitting. Just days ago, I was rocking Logan in our sage green glider, cleaning endless spit-up from every overpriced outfit she wore, marveling at her early vocabulary chock full of silly words and phrases, like “button” and “what’s this?” Just moments ago, I was picking out first day of school outfits and quizzing her with spelling words, arranging play dates, and thousands of stuffed animals and pastel, Pottery Barn Kids’ bedding on her bed. This child, who walked away from us so happy and self-assured on Friday night, primed and ready to help another family get a night away, is still that little being who once needed me so. Still that little dream baby with a head full of ringlets that just couldn’t possibly last–but did–and ocean blue eyes that still bear so much wonderment about the world.
She’s still the same, but our sweet baby girl is totally growing up and we couldn’t be more proud. Sigh.
Now she texts endlessly and finds lots of what she needs from her social circles, just the way it should be. She plays three instruments, reads voraciously, swims like a fish and plans to try her hand at acting this summer. She is a good sister and a good friend and I’m so grateful she has been blessed with good friends, too. She likes baggy sweatshirts and snug jeans. She has no idea how beautiful she is, inside or out. She aspires to big things, has big thoughts and big dreams. They will come true, of this I’m sure. She tells tales of getting kids to bed and being exhausted (funny how things come full circle!) She, as Mike says, is coming into herself, and it is one amazing thing to watch. What an honor it is to be her mom.
Time is flying…
December 31st, 2013 By Molly
If you would have told me that someday in my life I’d be standing in an exotic wellness center crying over the loss of our family’s pet lizard, I would have laughed. I also would have been wrong.
Grandmom and Granddad bought Finn a leopard gecko for his last birthday in May. I have to admit, he kind of wigged me out. And I hated that he did. In the early days, while trying to figure out how to pick him up, he hissed at me and tried to bite me. I think I waited weeks before trying again, but took it on as personal challenge to win this little fella over. And I did.
I swear he looked me right in the eyes when I talked to him. I even sang sometimes because he seemed to like it. (I know you’re laughing.) While I tried to pick him up and hold him for a few minutes each day, sometimes he’d sit on my chest for an hour or two while I watched TV. We dug each other.
The more time I spent with him, the better he would eat. And in that department, his best was pretty poor. I called and visited Petsmart with Shadow several times, wondering if he was okay. They continued to assure me that he was; that he was just a bad eater and had a predominantly antisocial and inactive personality. I believed them, but continued to worry.
About a month ago, looking back, he seemed to stop growing. There was a funny spot on his back that was more pronounced. He appeared more lethargic than usual. By Christmas, I was certain something was wrong.
But still, I’d pick him up and he’d look right in my eyes as I talked to him. Recently though, he’d started close his eyes and lay his head down as if it was all too much.
I spent the weekend trying to find a vet who could see him (no easy feat) and brought him in yesterday. Shadow had metabolic bone disease. Not so common in leopard geckos, but he had it all the same. Had Petsmart known the signs, we could have taken simple steps to halt its progress and save his life. Had they not reassured me he was fine all those times, I would have taken him in sooner. That’s on me though. I should have followed my gut.
So yesterday, we learned our sweet little guy was in lots of pain and it was his time to go. I felt a little ridiculous, very guilty and a lot sad. Who knew you could love a lizard? Now I know. Major shout out to Ness Exotic Wellness Center–their entire staff was amazing. They even made his little box pictured above.
While I fought back tears at the vet, Finn did too. I failed and he succeeded. He said, “I’ve survived a lot of things without crying.” Hmmm.
Later, as I laid in his bed while he tried to fall asleep without the comforting glow of the black light in Shadow’s cage, I said, “You know that it’s okay to cry, right?”
“Yeah, but I try hard not to do it when I’m outside playing with my friends and I get hurt,” he responded.
“I know, and that will happen as you grow up, but when something hurts your heart, I want you know that it’s okay to cry,” I said.
“I do, I did cry today. And you cried a lot today, too. I haven’t seen you cry in a long time. When is the last time you cried?” he asked.
I thought for a bit. “I suppose I cried a lot as I decided whether or not to go back to work for someone else.” I answered.
“Why did you do it then? Did you get fired?” he asked.
“No, silly, I worked for myself! But I was given a great opportunity; one that was good for me and for all of you, so I decided to take it.” I said.
“But why was it good?” he continued.
“Well, because it allowed me to have a new experience, to grow and to learn. Because as you grow, you’ll have busier and busier lives and I want to have something of my own. Because our family was able to have more money, which allows us to have more experiences together,” I said.
“But who cares about money, mom? Life’s not about money. It’s about the people you love and the circle of life,” my little seven year old genius responded. I’m in awe of him.
“Yes, it is Finn,” I said. “You’re right.”
While I go back to work on Thursday, I have absolutely loved being home, other than the lizard-euthanasia part. But a little piece of me is ready to go back, too. What a comfort it is to know that somehow, in the midst of this crazy busy life, we are raising quite an amazing and wise young man.
December 30th, 2013 By Molly
I’ve had my first dose of boys and sports; for real.
There’s no doubt my girls are competitive, too, but boy oh boy are boys different. To put it simply, poor Finn is about to lose his mind over the Chicago Bears. I don’t think it’s possible to love–and possibly loathe–a team so much.
A little over a week ago, during the embarrassing loss on Thursday night to the Eagles, Finn found me upstairs watching a movie with the girls. He was beside himself.
“The Bears are the worst team ever. They stink!” he forced out, trying to hold back his tears of frustration.
“What’s happening?” I asked. “Are they losing?”
“They always lose when I watch!” he cried. “Every single time!! They only win when I don’t watch!”
He was so upset and so cute, I could hardly stand it. How is it possible that we find some sort of cosmic, superstitious connection to events beyond our control even at such a young age? (I speak from experience…I rock back and forth during Logan’s swim meet heats and refuse to watch Riley’s balance beam warm ups because I somehow believe my actions and their performances are interconnected!) And Finn, at seven, thinks the Bears only win when he doesn’t watch. Man, we really are powerful! (Written with sarcasm.)
I struggled to calm his frustration and sadness about his beloved team and eventually made my way to Mike and Uncle Dan who sat watching the game in total disgust.
“I totally remember crying as a kid when my team lost!” they each said. When Finn heard that echoed the next day, I think he felt better.
So you can imagine my excitement during last night’s game when Finn watched with pals as the Bears held the lead for most of the game against the Packers.
“Yes!” I thought. “He’ll watch them win and realize that his watching has nothing to do with the outcome.”
Thanks to their last minute loss, he still believes it’s true. Ugh. And the worst part? We have to wait until next season to prove him wrong!
Bad. News. Bears.
December 27th, 2013 By Molly
I have a problem with abundance.
It’s not that I need abundance; I guess I just sort of believe in it. So when a holiday approaches or a celebration is near and I’m in charge, I shoot a little bit for the moon. Now, that’s not to say you won’t go to someone else’s home and have a better planned gathering, more cash shelled out or find more details attended to, but at our house, I like to think you’ll find it pretty good. It especially comes out in the food. I’m sure I have deep-seated fear of running out of it. I’ll never take the chance. Some of you might relate to a very recent and immensely giant lasagna.
We have already had four Christmas celebrations with family. We have another to go. This year, I didn’t even whisper a word about a traditional Christmas morning brunch that I typically host. The abundance freak in me wanted to–I really had to fight it. But I fought hard and kept my trap shut.
Of course I still made the brunch. Cooked all the food that we’ve grown to love with our family Christmas morning: an egg casserole, cheesy potatoes, bacon, sausage and one of the best holiday recipe finds ever: cranberry cake. If you cook, you need to try this cinnamon-y sour cream cake, baked in a spring form pan and topped with an (abundant) mountain of candied cranberries. This all goes perfectly with Mike’s homemade cinnamon rolls, which he managed to roll out shoulder recovery and all. Check out our spread:
As I was prepping the food on Christmas Eve (this meal is also awesome because it’s nearly all make-ahead) I found my mind wandering to thoughts of, “Next year, we’ll invite people over,” and “I wish we had planned the brunch this year!” But on Christmas morning, as I sipped coffee and watched the sun bounce around the farmland out our back door, donning pajamas and saving the cheesy potatoes from a a hole in the foil that delayed them, I thought, “No way.” There is nothing better than doing NOTHING on Christmas Day.
I’m not sure what the best part was. The kids were happy and busy with their take, the house smelled amazing, the coffee was perfect, carols played, television wasn’t even a thought and there was NO PLAN. It was heavenly and blissful.
This momentary perfection was, of course, interrupted by reality. At 1:30 we were showering and dressing and curling and begging Finn to take his sweatpants off and put jeans on. (The horror.) We were stuffing the car full of people and presents and heading off to another lovely celebration.
The truth is NOTHING is amazing. NOTHING should be treasured. Simple, sweet times like Christmas morning 2013 are too few and far between. But they are for sure what I live for.