Friday, July 06, 2012

Full of June

'Baby. I love you for always and everyday.' Evelyn (age 4 3/4)

Of course the words were spoken by our resident lover. Evelyn. And no truer words have been spoken by her. The recipient is her favorite little person on the planet. Ev's love language is physical touch, so the baby is still being man-handled/Ev-handled everyday constantly. I have to write these things down. I seem to be forgetting more than I am remembering these days. 
Probably because I haven't had a full night of sleep in months and months and months and months...I've embarrassed myself, forgetting the most important things, birthdays, names, conversations even. That was the worst one, I just plain forgot a conversation. I'm sure I offended the one whose conversation I forgot. I guess that just comes with the territory. No excuses. And no time to nap and catch up a little. So my memory is what is taking the brunt from this time. It's fading. Thank the Lord for this blog to quick jot my thoughts down. Current thoughts. Every once in a while I look back on old posts. This is a place so special to me. And strangely safe even though lots can, and do, read it. For me, it's a place for remembering these years. Tucking away snapshots and stories of these days that will one day be long ago. The days spent finding a lost shoe, tucking little ones into bed, putting on sunscreen, putting the same little girl in the same car seat...again, endless laundry, dishes that just won't quit, lots of wardrobe changes everyday from every girl, finding that special pair of well worn shorts in the dryer since she wants to wear them again today, repeating the same manners phrases 512 times like 'wash your hands', 'say excuse me', 'put your napkin in your lap.' 

Mama's who are before me tell me these times won't last forever. I BELIEVE them. I get it. I just like these tough old days. I do. I was made for this. Not in a weird co-dependant way. I'm just enjoying blooming where we are planted, during this season. God has richly blessed me with these four little girls and Brian. How possibly could I not praise him for His goodness. I delight in the way He meets our needs when we haven't even begun to imagine what our needs may be...he's already gone before me, before us. One day, they will be older. The problems will definitely not be... remembering to put your napkin in your lap... or finding a lost shoe. Trying to keep a firm perspective on the fact that things... will... change.  
And honestly, I hope Jesus returns before I have 4 teenage girls. :)

We are at the beach for July 4th. It's a super warm and sunny day today. We are just in from the pool. Three of the four girls are napping, and Brian and his Dad have run to get all the fish and stuff for Low country boil for dinner tonight. It's been a world-wind couple of weeks and it really truly feels like the first time I have had a chance to sit and think...collect my thoughts. I am so happy sitting here with my cup of green tea and my laptop. 

June has come and gone and now we are very very officially in the middle of summer. Especially now that some days are in the 100+ degrees range. Can't believe it's July 5th already. June has held some exciting times, most good, some hard. The girls loved Horse camp with cousins for a week, celebrating Fathers Day, a cool-weathered(!) week in Disney, we painfully and through tear stained cheeks sent our very best friends off to one of the most northern states in America, Brian and I snuck away, with the baby, to celebrate 12 years of marriage in Charleston, we loved a trip to NC for one of my very bestie's wedding, and our two-year-old survived a front tooth extraction. My cell phone went swimming, so I've survived without a cell phone for a week. I got pink-eye which looked way more like really-red-eye. Whew. We've been swimmin', beachin', bowlin', library trippin', swim team swimmin' and a bunch of other good stuff in June. 

And honestly, most of it was captured with my cell phone camera. Not alot of great shots, but so many many great memories. 

Celebrating Brian is a big deal. It's easy around here. Because they all worship him. The love simply flows for him. And the reciprocal too. I have to mention it, because it's intense. It is something I celebrate. It has not one thing to do with me. I just have to stand back and watch. I once had a similar attachment with my own Dad. I think of him soooo often as I watch Brian with these little girls. I remember my Mom even asking me about it. 

She would say, 'What do you find so wonderful about your Dad? What do you like so much about him?' I don't know what I said then, but what I miss now, are... his hugs, his hands, his laughter, his horrible jokes, his smile, his teeth, his hugs...oh I already said that. 2012 was my first Fathers Day without him. 

I had such fun doing all of the pregnancy shoots a few months ago. So I had an idea for a Fathers Day picture for Brian. The girls are always game for photoshoots. It started out tame enough... then I told them my idea. 

That, they were even more excited about! And I adore how it turned out. Even the fact that his eyes are closed. He IS super man to me, and us. And COULD do it with his eyes closed. Thank you Lord for this guy. 

Later that day, a Father's Day Party. All I had to do was say the word. The girls were ON IT. The party at our house was designed and executed by some creative girls. The guest list included...
A 2 month old very cute, clueless infant
A 2 year old very toothless, cutie pie
A 4 year old sweetheart and streamer hanger
A 6 year old precious event planner and party extraordinary-ista. 

Streamers were strewn EVERYWHERE. Balloons were blown up. Cards were made. Party hats were on. And here we are. Waiting, as patiently as we could, for Daddy to come home for the party. It didn't make the self portrait, but yes, of course, I had on a party hat too.
As little girls, Julie and I talked about, and wondered about, what our babies would look like when we grew up and had children. 
Will they look similar? Or different? 
Hmmm. You be the judge on this one.  :)

It's Evelyn's first year of swim team. When I signed her up I told them that she was almost 5. They didn't seem to mind that she is actually 4. So she happily races against 5 and 6 year olds and is the youngest on the team by far. They practice 2 mornings a week at 8:00 in the morning. Somehow it seems really early every single time they go.  They are both enjoying it so much. It is my favorite childhood memory being a swim team girl. So maybe I am vicariously living through them, just a tad. At the last meet, they got to swim together in a relay, just like my sister and I used to. 

  Evelyn (on the chair) Carlisle (in the water)

There are some special weddings that I have attended in my life. I think I've been a bridesmaid 10 or so times. I've lost count. 

One of my best friends got married in June. It was the greatest wedding and reception you can imagine. The bride is infinitely awesome. And naturally beautiful. And unswervingly cool. And so un-consumed by tradition...and formality...and pretension. She just wanted to marry the man she loves. They accepted no gifts because they plan to continue their lives as missionaries, traveling the world. Oh. Did I mention there were 40 people there. Total. Maybe 45. What an honor to witness those vows. The simplicity and intimacy increased the preciousness for us all. We were all a part of something so special.

The ceremony took place under the shade of tall trees, on a farm, down a long winding road, somewhere in small town, NC. The baby was with us. She was strapped to my chest in the bjorn. Always along for the ride, she was happy to be close. What an evening. Tami was more strikingly beautiful than I had ever seen her. He was handsome and happy. Her parents were darling and wonderful. 

The bride, the groom, even the parents... all of us, sweaty from nutty fun dancing, ended up in the swimming pool by the end of the night. Really? Yes, she went in. In her wedding gown. This is reason #3249 that I love her

Our 12th anniversary trip. 
We almost canceled the whole thing. But at the last minute, and I mean last minute, ran away for the night. I asked Brian Saturday morning around 9:00 if he thought we could still pull off running away for one night. He said yes. I texted the baby sitter. She was there by 11:00am and we were gone. 

We didn't bring the mack-daddy camera. But we did bring the baby. We didn't bring a stroller. So we carried that sweet little goose everywhere we went. 

Because of the hiatal hernia and her difficulty gaining weight, she's tiny. She was 2 months at the time but easily the size of a baby just out of the womb. 9lbs. People everywhere ooh'ed and ahh'ed at her. And the most frequently asked question right after, 'How old is she?' was, 'Is this your first?' Sometimes we'd just smile and say no. Just for a chuckle sometimes we'd tell them the deal. She's the fourth...girl. I tell them for the reactions. It's fun everytime. 

We hired a babysitter so we could go to our favorite steak house. It's dumb how good the steaks are. And the atmosphere is so fancy and romantic. I bought a new pair of earrings for the occasion. Dangly and green. 

Goofy lovebirds... with no time constraints, no kids, yummy food, and a handy dandy iPhone. They brought us champaign to celebrate our anniversary. So, we toasted quietly in each others ears to the good stuff and all the years we've had...and all the years we will have.

Smells like dinner is done. And I've done nothing to help. Babies are waking up. Evelyn is here playing with 'my baby Bliss', on the floor. Dreamy quiet time with my laptop and green tea are done.

Planning to potty train a two year old tomorrow or the next day. That's endless stories and pictures...and fun. Whew. I've delayed that long enough. She's ready. It's me that has to gear up.

Hope to blog again soon.  

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