Monday, January 13, 2014

Sharpening

Its 6:00-something in the morning. I've already been to the gym and back and all are still asleep. The quiet is so rare here. 

This is the post that almost wasn't. This post has been started and interrupted 54 times. Or 54 million times. Can't remember which. I lost count. I've considered deleting it and just starting again. But these memories are so sweet and good. Just will publish and move on. So much of this happened a month ago, but that's ok too. 

'Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.' (Psalm 127:1-5 NIV)

They are arrows. Our children are arrows. 


Here's the truth. Arrows grow dull. They take care and sharpening. The best arrows are the ones that someone has spent time with. Sharpening. Handling. Turning over and over in the hands of the sharpener. Examining carefully. And then working on the areas that need extra attention. 

'Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.' (Psalm 144:12 NIV)


It's 10:41. PM. Yes 10:41pm and the three older girls are giggling and laughing, hiding under the covers in their room. I can hear them upstairs. Having a ball. Being girls. I remember that. I remember the late night talking. I don't remember planning weddings or picking baby names. But I do remember being with my sister and feeling VERY safe. So when my own get to bouncing around and giggling late into the night, I can't stop them. It's too important. The bonding. The memories. This childhood. They will make up the sleep another day. 



Occasionally, I get completely overwhelmed with laundry. I mean, deer-in-headlights, don't know where to start, type of overwhelmed. We've traveled so much recently. We've come in with bags and suitcases full of laundry. Life is always fuller during the holidays, the time usually spent on normal things like laundry, were spent on other things. Christmas things. Sending cards, wrapping gifts, stuffing stockings, hanging tinsel.  

My laundry room is small and right off the kitchen. It was so bad that the sheets, clothes, and socks were spilling out into the kitchen. So I just shoved it all back in and shut the door. I did it for a few days. Shoving more in and pulling the door closed. There were sheets from 5 beds and just plain old piles and piles of 6 people's stuff. It became a laundry epidemic. 


So what does a mama who is SOOO behind on laundry do... when she's swimming in piles and piles? Of dirty laundry? 


I piled my girls, and all the dirty laundry in the car. I told the girls that we were doing a special math class today. And a field trip. To the laundry mat. I packed snacks and shoved the gobs of laundry in the back of my car. It didn't fit. And I have a big car. I filled the entire passenger side too. And we drove to the closest laundry mat. 


The girls counted money, filled slots with quarters, dumped cups with detergent. They loved it. 

I did a week or two's laundry in 2 hours. 


All was well in my world. Minus the guy who was watching us and videoing us. Yucky stalker guy. 


If I could go back, I would have just said something to him. 


Earlier that morning, I had a sweet time in the Word and I found an awesome verse.


'But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior.' Jeremiah 20:11 NIV


When you believe in Jesus, you get a body guard. 


I love that. 


God protected me. He just does that. 





December always turns out to be a full month. With parties and events squeezing their way into our schedule. We almost didn't do it. Our annual NYC trip. But at the last minute, Brian found good priced flights and we took the girls. It was cold. It snowed. It was absolutely everything you'd want a NYC trip to be.  















TIME SQUARE SNOWBALL FIGHT. 

Brian vs. three little brightly dressed, dolly toting girls. 


















Our favorite. Yep. American Girl. 
I think I turn into a goober in there. Smiling. Living life like a 5 year old. It is so fun. If you like that sort of thing. 




I seriously thought there was no help for my girls dolls hair. Who knew? These mamacitas worked magic on them. 


After the hair salon, Brian took us all to the American Girl cafe for brunch.






A little bit picturesque eh? Snow falling, happy family. 
Freezing cold euphoria.  :)


One more snow ball fight. This time….they got him good. 












The cutie pies were victorious! 














So, who knew that snow and certain shoes don't mix. I can count how many snows I've experienced in my entire life on two hands. So the girls were wearing shoes that soaked up the cold snow and melted snow. Hypothermia feet. 

Gap Kids will have rain boots, snow boots, something? 
No. 
They recommended we try H and M.
Nothing. 
H and M recommended we try Forever 21.
Jackpot. 
Hightops. 




And then craziness ensued. 
There's nothing like a NYC catwalk to bring out the sassy in a girl. And what a way to show off your new kicks. 
















And then we seriously almost died from frost bite and hypothermia. We were looking for a taxi to take us to Little Italy. That was the plan. Italian dinner. It was 4:30. The time the cabs switch over from one shift to another. 

Brian worked in NYC for a year. He knew about the shift change. It's NO MANS LAND for getting a taxi. No taxi's. Anywhere. 

It's snowing. It's 24 degrees. We have hypothermia. Which, to the best of my knowledge, slows down brain activity. Because, I couldn't think. Couldn't make a decision. Couldn't find a cab. Brian said he turned to me to ask me if we wanted to just scoot into another restaurant instead and I had snow on my eyelashes. He laughed and we pulled me into a warm restaurant. Not Italian. Not little Italy. But we thawed out over a huge pile of table side guacamole. And it was good. 




















The last day we went to China town and made friends with lots of sweet Chinese people selling everything you can imagine. They kept oohing and ahing over the girls saying we should try again for a boy. We didn't even tell them that we had another, a girl, waiting for us at home. Not sure they would have believed us. 
The girls got parasols and handheld fans. 
...And rode the subway. 

That was a big hit. 
But it was the trip home that was our biggest adventure. 


Evelyn woke up feeling bad. I thought at first that she was just tired. But then she started to throw up. She is the finicky tummy one in our family. So I gave her the prescription medicine we keep on hand, the one to prevent throwing up. And it didn't work. She continued to throw up until there was nothing left in her stomach. And then she continued to throw up. It was HORRIBLE. The kind where you lay on the floor by the toilet because you don't have the energy to move. 

It was our travel day. Baby was home with Brian's parents. We had to get back. We had plans that night. Brian needed to get back to work the following day. We had to just get home. 

We packed our bags and gathered up all of our shopping bags for puke bags. She couldn't even walk. She was green. She couldn't talk. She just moaned. I kept whispering in her ear, 'I'm so sorry Ev….I'm so sorry.' 

Keep in mind we are traveling with three small children and all of our luggage. She can't walk. Either Brian or I are carrying her at all times. Brian was a pack mule. It was insane. He defied gravity carrying and pulling all of our luggage. I almost laughed we looked so insane. But of course…it was so awful…I didn't.

We got a taxi. 

Brian sat in the front with the driver and the three girls and I sat in the back. She threw up into a shopping bag the entire ride to the airport. It was in the 20's and I had the window down blowing cold air on her green face. 

We arrived at the airport. 
I chunked that shopping bag in the garbage can at the curb and got a new one. 

I carried her like a baby. And we sat down just inside the door. I gave Brian my drivers license and he waited in the line. 

The lady checked him in…without me standing there. Miracle. 

I'm pretty sure the longest 45 minutes of my life was going through the security checkpoint. The line was long. Evelyn was borderline passing out. It was hot. People crowded in on every side. Two single men behind me loudly complaining about how slow we moved. 

And in the morning rush with an extremely sick one, I hadn't packed our carry on's very well. It was actually embarrassing. Toys spilling out. The two guys behind me didn't like this either. 

We had to remove shoes. Unpack laptops. Fill bins with American dolls, bags, etc. I didn't just feel like people were staring. They were. It's a definite. We were a SPECTACLE. We probably filled 20 bins. 

I was sweating. I looked over at Brian. His brow was wet. 

This entire time, meaning from the time we left the hotel to the time we were at the security checkpoint, he and I didn't not utter one word to one another. It was SO highly and ridiculously stressful…and we were in such survival mode, there were no words. 

We would make eye contact. Hoping for some relief in each others eyes. But when I looked across at him, he looked the way I felt. Overwhelmed with the amount of stuff and little people we had to move. 

That may sounds mellow dramatic to you if you don't fly. But…if you fly. And you fly with small children, you know. It's hard. When they are all happy and well, its hard. 

I set her down on her feet. Her knees gave out under her. I said, 'Ev you just have to walk through there, ok?' She said, 'I just want to lay down.' 

But she did it. She walked through the scanners. I just knew she was going to puke on the guys feet. She didn't. Thankfully. 

When we got to our gate, she laid down and fell asleep. She'd wake up occasionally to throw up and go back to sleep again. 

They started calling our flight so I woke her up and we went close to the boarding door. 

She looked so bad that an ELDERLY lady and her husband said, 'PLEASE, take our seats. She looks so sick.' Typically, I would have smiled and kindly refused. I was so grateful. And I took their seats. 

The flight boarded and she slept. And she slept. And she slept. 

And just like it came on her, it was GONE. She begged me for water when she woke up. I just knew she was going to projectile spew water on the back of the mans head in front of her, but she didn't. 

It stayed down. 

We made it. 

And as the flight landed, Evelyn said, in a way only Evelyn can say:

'When we get home…I'm gonna hug the house.' 

1 comment:

Mrs Deb said...

God is our refuge and strength... Love your family!!
Did anyone see a Cricket in Times Square ?