Friday, January 1, 2016

Faithfulness in the Mundane: A New Year's Reflection

Happy New Year! I hope you and your families had a wonderful holiday and that you were able to celebrate the ringing in of 2016 with those you hold dear.

As seems to be the norm every year, beginning the day after Christmas, I started seeing posts like these lighting up my newsfeed:

Make 2016 the BEST. YEAR. EVER!!!


This year is going to be AMAZING!!! 2016...I'm coming after ya!


BOOM! New year. New goals. New ME! Let's do this!!!

All of these thoughts make for fabulous mental pep rallies, but I have to admit that as a mother of three little ones, they leave me blinking at my screen a little perplexed. Sure, I have my own projects and passions: I am an actress and I run a photography business. Those represent major parts of who I am and what I love to do. My main job in life, though, is to keep these three little people alive and kicking! For me, that means a steady diet of cuddles, carpool runs, laundry loads, wiping noses, and showing off my culinary genius by microwaving the heck out of individual serving sizes of mac 'n' cheese bowls. In other words, it's a wonderful life, but it ain't exactly a glamorous one.

I recently had a really meaningful Facebook messenger exchange with an old friend, who is also an actress and also deep in the trenches of motherhood. As we caught up on each other's lives, she commented that one of the main life lessons she had been learning was to persevere in her faith and to be faithful in the mundane.

Faithful in the mundane. Those words continued to ring in my head for days and weeks after our conversation, precisely because they rang so true in my life. Motherhood, as awesome an experience as it is, seems to be (to quote Eugene Peterson) a long obedience in the same direction.

Do I have personal and artistic goals for 2016? YES! Big ones! Will it be the BEST. YEAR. EVER? Probably not. But that is just fine with me! Maybe being in my 40's now has taught me that life is dotted with moments (and seasons) of incredible highs and heartbreaking lows, but most of life is the normal rhythm of daily living. And it's okay to embrace that. For me, it is essential. The buzz of life's highs when a new goal is achieved is truly amazing, and the sting of life's lows during those inevitable hard times hurts more than I care to think about, but I believe that keeping my feet grounded in the present moment of all of that in between time is where personal contentment is found. That is where the bulk of life is lived. It is where the love of family, the intimacy of true friendship, and our deepest support systems thrive. It is also where God meets us and holds us and loves us, even if it doesn't seem like it. And if I can be faithful to Him and all that He has called me to in and through the mundane moments, the hum-drum days and even the long seasons of blessed normalcy that will surely be part of my 2016, I know it will be a wonderful year!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Never Letting Go...

Each of my kids is special in his/her own unique way. Zachary has always been my tender-hearted, kind, sweet one.

The other night we were hugging each other, and he said, "I'm never letting go." I melted into a puddle of mush right then and there! Our hug lasted a good, long time, when we eventually had to let go. But we decided together that even when we have to let go of our hugs, we will never let go in our hearts.

Now it's kind of our thing. Whenever we hug or hold hands, one of us will say, "Never letting go."

I love it. And I love him. So. Much.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tears of Pride

There are certain moments when I pause to reflect and I'm overwhelmed at how GOOD life is! This is one of those moments for me.

This morning, we attended the last game of Jeremy's t-ball season. When he got up to bat, my inner softball player came out and coached him from the sideline..."This is the last time up to bat this season, buddy! So hit it 'Jeremy Style'...hit it as hard as you can!"

Little Dude didn't disappoint! He whacked that ball good 'n' hard and sent it sailing to the outfield! I leapt to me feet so fast, screaming at the top of my lungs, tears filling my eyes. It was all blurry, but I didn't even care because my heart was filled was such pride. That's MY boy!

Driving home, it hit me that I always thought there were just two kinds of tears: tears of sadness and tears of joy. But parenthood has taught me a new way to cry: with tears of PRIDE!

As I sat down to begin writing this post, I was overwhelmed with emotion...not at his t-ball playing, but at how incredibly grateful I am that God has given me these three amazing, precious, awesome children to parent and to love. I couldn't love them more. We may not share DNA, but they are my flesh and blood just the same. And I couldn't be more proud to call them my own!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Let's Play Ball!

Jeremy is on a tee-ball team this year, the Colorado Rockies--GOOOO ROCKIES!!!

Today was his second game of the season, and this former softball player of a mom was soooo proud of my boy! Jeremy played in the infield today, and wow did he do great! His coach gave him a game ball after the game for doing such a good job today.

Here are some pics of my guy in action!


Every Texan child goes through a rite of passage--being photographed in a patch of our state flower...bluebonnets! This was Zoe's year, which is only appropriate for the one native-born Texan in our family!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Three Teeth and a Whole Lot of CUTE!

Dear Zoe,

On January 2, you got your first tooth, and I thought there could be nothing cuter than baby Zoe with one bottom tooth. Honestly, look at this face!

But two weeks later, your second bottom tooth popped through, and the cuteness just increased!

Valentines Day 2014

You are such a happy baby girl and you smile at me every day, so this sweet two-toothed grin has been warming my heart for the past month.

Today we were at a local playground with your brothers. I was holding you and you smiled at me, and I noticed your third tooth poking through. I'm yet to get a good photo of it, but I will soon. It's your top left tooth. 

Zoe, I feel badly because I haven't blogged about your first year the way I did with your brothers, but having three kids has brought a whole new meaning to the word "overwhelmed" and there simply isn't enough time for regular blogging. However, I want you to know that I've been having an absolute blast with you! You are truly my dream-come-true! The bond we share as mother and daughter is really something special, and the true hope of my heart is that we will be close for life. You're such a blessing to us, and I will be thankful to God for placing you in our family forever!!!

I will always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always hold you in my heart.

I love you,

Monday, August 5, 2013

On the eve of my 39th Birthday...

I love birthdays because they are a lovely reason to reflect on the past year and also to dream about the year ahead.

God has been so good to me and blessed me in so many ways during the past year....

On the heels of my birthday last year, I began rehearsals for "Girls Only", which turned out to be my favorite on-stage experience so far. Not only was it pure joy to act in this fabulous comedy, but it ended up running for five months! A dream job, and one for which I will always be grateful!!!

After "Girls Only" came to a close in February and my pace of life began to slow down, I started to get antsy. I felt like I had cabin fever when I was at home during the day, so I planned a cross-country road trip. I had it all scheduled with many stops along the way all set up. We would be gone for three weeks in April.

Those plans came to a grinding halt when three things happened. First, I found out that I had to be in San Antonio for a meeting that got scheduled right in the middle of my planned trip. Second, my friend Sarah in New Jersey who I was planning to spend several days with on my trip, called to tell me that a baby boy had been born in Las Vegas, and she and her husband would be traveling there for at least 2 weeks to adopt him. And just one week after Sarah called me with her big news, we got some big news of our own...which brings me to the third thing: our adoption agency called us to say that a baby girl had been born who they thought would be a good match for our family.

So I think it's safe to say that God knew all along that my best laid road trip plans were not meant to be this year. However, I prefer His plan to mine!!!

Zoe has been the sweetest and most precious daughter I could dream of! She is beyond wonderful, and we all just love her so, so, so, so much!

As I look forward to the coming year, I have an immense feeling of satisfaction. Brian and I sense that Zoe is our last baby, and my focus is much less on family planning now and more on family raising. Now that my babies are all here, I'm looking forward to seeing them grow up. I also look forward to all of us growing closer as a family, as our bond deepens as a family of five.

Speaking of family, I would be remiss if I didn't mention two very special boys who live in Ethiopia named Ephrem and Habtamu, ages 19 and 11. They are my long-distance sons who live across the ocean. They melt my heart every time they call me "Mom". Although they have not taken up residence in our home (and there are no plans for that), they have definitely taken up residence in my heart, and I love them.

What a great year 38 has been! Thank You, God, for all of the amazingly beautiful blessings You have generously poured out on me!