July 31, 2011

I'll take the furnace

Sometimes I complain, drag my feet, daydream, or spend too much time online.  All of these things happen when I am focusing on the furnace, and not the guy walking around inside it by my side.

If you are not familiar with the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (or as the African American p_reacher friend of our friend Rogers says, "Shadrach, Meshach, and A Bad Negro"), then I will tell you that once upon a time, three guys, who would not bow down to any god other the one true G0D, were ordered by the king to be tossed into a really hot furnace, to meet their scorching deaths.

Yesterday I went to fellowship and heard my husband's teaching on this passage, and I was brought to tears, right there on the 5th row.  Daniel said, "Nobody likes to be walking around in the furnace, unless the son of G0D is walking around in there too.  If G0D is there, that is where I want to be."

The rest of the story is, those three guys did not burn up.  Not even a hair was singed.  While they walked around in the furnace, unharmed, a fourth man was seen walking with them, and he resembled a son of the gods, according to the king.

And you know what?  I'm not going to burn up either.  For many reasons, I am supposed to be right here, in this exhausting life, and because G0D is here with me, there really is nowhere I'd rather be.

July 29, 2011

back to (home) school

To allow for a lengthy bonding period when we bring our Jubilee home in September, I am starting school on Monday.  That was a short summer!  Granted, if we didn't crack a book until after Christmas it wouldn't be the end of the world, since Bright is starting 1st grade at a 2nd grade reading level, but I'm too uptight to be that laid back, I'm slightly ashamed to admit.

This will be my second year of home schooling, and I feel ready and weary and grateful and weary and then grateful again, because this home schooling stuff is just so incredibly awesome.  Seriously.

So to kick off our 2011-2012 school year here at Rupp Academy, (and speaking of being uptight) I will post this quote from a friend of a friend's blog.
"Because what will the math really matter if they are bitter? If the house is immaculate — but my attitude a mess? If they can count — but they don’t know how to count all things as joy? If we get the lists done, but have lost happiness in Him? How can any grammar skill outweigh the fact they don’t know the language of grace and thanks? What good will it be if they can recite all the major British battles — but they don’t know to see beauty? What am I teaching our children if I’m not living simply, quietly this: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Phil. 4:8). Focusing on what is beautiful, good, true –isn’t this the truest education?" -Ann Voskamp
And here is some of the art from our very short summer.
Bright's depiction of Zion's new bifocals.
The subject of Bright's work (bifocal line not visible on account of lighting, I suppose).  
Zion's watercolor depiction of "paint dripping off of an alien."
"Lobster" by Bright
If you give him crayons, he'll eat them.

birds of a feather

Our friends are coming home tonight from America, and we are WAY EXCITED.  Their eldest girl, Miriam, second from the right, is our steady babysitter and her absence has meant the absence of date nights and the absence of some of our sanity (which was in short supply already).  The biggest reason that we are glad for this family to be back around, however, is that they are, well, a lot like us.  There is never anybody quite as fun or as comfortable to hang with than birds of your own feather, ya know?  They laugh at the same things that we do, they value the same things that we do, and they get irked by the same things that we do.  They home school, they stay up late, they make desserts from scratch and devour them immediately, they teach their daughters how to have fun while staying modest and full of grace, and their sons how to be strong and real and full of love.  When their older boys wanted tattoos, Dad went with them and got one that matched.

We only hope to be as flavorful of a group with as much love for each other and for the L0RD when we are standing at our eldest son's wedding in 15 years.  For now, we will hang with these cool cats as long as we are allowed the privilege to do so.  Welcome back to town, friends!  Lets potluck soon!

July 27, 2011

Ronald and Me

This (very exuberant) Ronald McDonald made his rounds the other Sunday morning at our favorite after-fellowship McDonald's.  He frightened the sweet-and-sour sauce out of our kids, but I wasn't scared.

July 26, 2011

relinquishment day

Jubilee's birthday is a medical estimate, though we will always celebrate it as if we had been right there holding her moments after her birth.

The truth is, we weren't.  Someone else was, and that someone else brought her to the crossing of Commercial Street in Yangchun City, China, two years ago...today.

July 26 is the first day of Jubilee's recorded history.  On this day in 2009, someone found our baby girl in a box, or a basket, or something like it, at a busy city intersection, and brought her to the nearest orphanage.  On this day in 2009, a mother, her heart beating wildly and tears flooding her face so much that she could scarcely see, laid her 6-day-old child on the ground and walked away.  That one heroic act, done two years ago today, would change that mother's life forever, and the life of Jubilee, and the lives of Daniel, myself, and our three other children.  Her selfless decision meant medical hope for a little girl with a need too big for her relatives to meet, and ultimately it meant a loving mother and a doting father and devoted brothers for Jubilee.  Forever.

I tried desperately this morning to hunt down what my friends and family were doing on July 26, 2009, while Jubilee lay crying on a street corner.  The crazy thing is NONE of you (that I could find) posted a blog post on that day, myself included.  During that month I know that we were moving apartments and receiving visiting grandparents from America and getting used to newborn Brave and life with three kids, but I have no record of what I was doing on the 26th.

I guess it was her day, and hers alone.

I often think about how another woman was pregnant with my daughter at the same time I was pregnant with my third son.  Brave and Jubilee, in different tummies, to be raised side by side for the rest of their lives.  This woman and I were probably throwing up on the same mornings, and up sleepless on the same nights.  When I was giving birth to Brave, Jubilee was kicking less and less in her increasingly cramped space, getting ready for her entrance into the world.

I will never stop praying for Jubilee's birth family.  Never.  Though their identity in this life can not possibly be ascertained, G0D knows exactly who they are, and where they are, and my prayer is that I will get to introduce them to their sweet Jubilee in Heaven.

July 25, 2011

July 23, 2011

puzzled by tights

Yesterday there were little piles of toddler clothes all over my bed and pouring down onto the floor, while a heap of removed tags and packaging mounted on top of my dresser.  In trying to sort them for their first washing, I found that little girls wear so many different colors, and very bright colors at that, so that I was nearly going to be washing each piece separately.  Then when it came time to put them in drawers, I couldn't figure out how to organize them.  Do "bloomers" (is that what they're called?) go in the drawer with tights and panties, or should they be put away with each of their coinciding dresses?  What about leggings?  Do they go with pants, or shorts, or capris?  What about capri leggings???? 

Oh my, I've got a lot to learn.

At one point, I pulled a T-I-N-Y pair of mint green panties out of the dryer and held them up by their hot pink waistband for Daniel to see, ice cream sundae applique facing out, and Daniel caught his breath slightly and then chuckled, shaking his head.  "What in the WORLD are we supposed to do with THOSE?"

Good question, Babe.  With our travel approval estimated to arrive in 3 weeks time, putting the grand uniting at about the first week of September, I guess we'll soon find out;)

July 21, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Glory!

A year ago, we had no way of knowing whether Glory would live to see her first birthday.  In Kerry's words, "We didn’t know what we would do if she didn’t live.  We didn’t know what would happen if she did." There were many phone calls over the past year, from our family in Little Rock, asking us to join them and hundreds of others in praying for Glory to make it through that particular night, or that particular day, or that particular surgery.  Everything was, and continues to be, so out of our hands.

But whatever the future holds for our little wondergirl, one thing is certain:  today, she celebrates her 1st birthday!  Today is a sweet, sweet day.

Dear Glory,
We regret the thousands of miles that separate us on this day.  This birthday banner says, "Happy Birthday" and was decorated by your goofy cousins.  We love you SOOOO much, sweetheart! 
Hugs and Kisses,
Uncle D, Auntie K, Bright, Zion, Brave, and Jubilee

July 20, 2011

no birthday girl

Somewhere in an orphanage today, our little girl turned 2.

We had originally hoped to be with her on this day.  When it became obvious that we were not going to get our wish, we thought we would celebrate in her absence; bake a cake, decorate the dining room, the works.  But then today came, and it just didn't feel festive.  It didn't feel right for us to eat chocolate cake when she gets none.  It just didn't.

So, Jubilee, we are waiting for you before we celebrate.  Your presents sit wrapped and ready in the closet.  I don't know if you've ever had chocolate, so I'll bake you a vanilla cake and splash the top with sprinkles, and we will sing and clap and praise the L0RD for the day that you were born!

LORD, keep our birthday girl today.  And L0RD, please bring her home soon.

July 19, 2011

Big Butt

Brave and his Ayi are close.  She takes him outdoors every morning for an hour-and-a-half while I teach home school (and Brave has the best language understanding of all the boys because of it).  He has her wrapped around his little finger.  Here they call that the little emperor syndrome.  He's got it alright, at least with her.

Ayi especially loves Brave's bottom.  Let me explain.  Brave is a white boy (like I needed to point that out) and (most) white boys have butts.  Brave doesn't just have your average white boy butt.  He's got one of those nice, round, running back butts.  Now Ayi is not white, and is not used to seeing white boy butts.  In her ethnicity, butts are usually much less...shall we say...pronounced (how often can I write "butt" in a single blog post?).  Therefore, she is fascinated by our son's backside.  When his diaper comes off, she chases him around the house calling him her pet name for him, "Da Pigu," which literally translates into "Big Butt."

Another good story for a future daughter-in-law.

July 18, 2011

The Worst Night Of My Life

Granted, Daniel and I had never agreed on a phone call every day from Hong Kong, but he and the boys had been calling me every day all the same and I was expecting yesterday to be no different. 

At 5:30 p.m., Brave and I arrived at my friend Amy's house, who is also without a husband at the moment.  I had movies and Orville Redenbacher in my overnight bag.  She had made mango sticky rice (my FAVORITE) and we were excited to put our babies to bed and relax.  When 7 p.m. came and went with no word from Daniel and the boys, I started to wonder.  8 o'clock came, 9 o'clock went, 10 o'clock ticked by.  Knowing that Hong Kong is known for its night life and that little boys don't go to bed early when they are away on weekends with their dad, I tried not to panic.  They would be returning to the Hong Kong Hostel any minute, where they would have WIFI and would be able to Skype me.  At 11 o'clock, Amy and I both looked at each other with concern.  We clicked off the movie we were in the middle of watching, never to turn it on again, and I tracked down the phone number for the Hong Kong Hostel.

An annoyed desk clerk answered the phone.  I asked him to go to Daniel's room (which had no phone) and knock on the door.  I knew they had probably turned in hours ago, after forgetting/deciding not to call me, and they were probably fast asleep.  I knew it would aggravate Daniel to have someone pounding on his door at 11 p.m., but I HAD to know whether they were tucked in safe-and-sound.  Those were my babies over there in Hong Kong and, even if they were with their daddy, a mama can't rest until she knows her kids are OK.

I could hear the clerk pounding and pounding on the door.  "Nobody here," he said gruffly.  "I leave note to call wife."

Now it was my heart that was pounding and pounding.  Daniel would not have kept our little boys out until 11 p.m.  When the clock hand clicked past 12 midnight, I began to panic.  By now he would certainly have returned to the hostel.  Amy and I jumped into action at that point, as I fought the terror that was closing in on my mind.  Amy called her husband.  I called our friend John.  We were tracking his phone and wracking our brains and praying and trying to come up with SOME REASON why Daniel and the boys would be out in the city of Hong Kong past midnight.  At 3 a.m., the hostel clerk was asked one more time to pound on the door, as loudly as he could, but again there was no answer.  Wherever they were, they were not coming back tonight.

Most of the time the mind is the enemy in situations like this, as it races to conclusions as improbable as they are horrible.  For the first time in my life, however, the situation was the enemy. 'This is it,' I thought with a dread that literally made my skin crawl, 'tragedy has finally found me.  I am becoming a victim at last.'  I thought of Shari and Kerry, and  I wondered how they would survive anymore than they already had.  I wondered about Jubilee.  Was I going to change my homestudy status to "single mother with one child" and bring her into a nest of despair?  I paced the floors, long after Amy had retired to her room.  I rocked back and forth on the bed, wringing my hands, praying the same prayer over and over and over until it seemed I would grow hoarse, "G0D, please give them back to me."

At 7 a.m., after not sleeping at all, I called my dad and mom.  That is when I lost my composure, unable to hold back the tears any longer.  I cried and cried as my dad soothingly assured me that he was SURE everything was OK.  His words weren't founded in anything other than his authority as my dad, but that was enough to relieve some of the agony I was feeling.  I gathered myself again and promised to call them as soon as I heard anything.

At 8 a.m. Amy and I were drinking our strong black coffee on her 4th-story deck, holding our babies and watching the morning traffic.  Suddenly my cell phone rang.  I answered.

"Babe," came the sweetest sound I had ever heard, "We're FINE.  We've been asleep in our room here at the hostel since 9 last night."
He had just woken up, found that his phone had finished charging, checked his emails and discovered all of my desperate messages from the last 12 hours.
"I didn't call you yesterday because I never had a good place to get on Skype.  Everything's fine."

"But," I said shakily, a thousand emotions washing over me at once, "you weren't in your room.  He checked many times, quite loudly, saying that you were certainly not in your room."

"He must have had the wrong room," Daniel said simply.

There you have it.  Some guy neglected to double-check a room number, resulting in The Worst Night Of My Life.  Granted, none of it would have happened if Daniel had called yesterday, but then Daniel could argue that none of it would have happened if I hadn't phoned the hostel at 11 p.m.  To which I would argue that any mother would have done the same.  Those are my babies.  You better be telling me how they're doing, now:)

After Daniel and I hung up the phone, I said to Amy, "Nothing could dampen my spirits on this day!"  The joy I felt was indescribable.  I spoke a little too soon.  On our way to the shopping center to celebrate, I got violently ill riding in the passenger seat of the taxi, and after we got out of the car I proceeded to decorate the landscaping with what I had eaten for breakfast.  When I had nothing left in my stomach, we got back in a vehicle and went right back to Amy's house, where I stayed, sicker than I'd been in a long time, for the rest of the afternoon.  Amy thinks it was carbon monoxide poisoning from when we were stuck in a traffic jam in a low, hemmed-in part of the city.  Maybe it was.

Or maybe I had literally gotten worried sick.

One thing's for certain.  I won't be doing ANYTHING tomorrow but holding my husband and children.  Though they were never really lost, they were lost to me, and I am getting them back.

July 16, 2011

their sunset years

These are my folks.  Pretty good for 60, eh?  They are standing on top of the campground that saw me every summer, before soccer tournaments and drivers licenses kept me away.  I stayed up very late here, watching countless sunsets just like this one, and countless fires die down.  I helped to drive-in countless tent stakes, and dug around in countless coolers of ice for the coldest can of Sprite.  To this day, the smell of fresh fish guts is comforting, as is the sound of a tent zipper.  In those days, my dad's beard was dark brown and an XL shirt was stretched across his middle - the telltale sign of a man enjoying his life.  Don't let this size-L shirt fool you, though, Jerry is still a happy man.  He just likes the idea of living to see his grandchildren married.

Which brings me to the point.  It would seem that we all have our boo-hoos from childhood.  We've all been to counseling, and we've all emptied a box or two of Kleenex over, "My mom made me feel ______", and "My dad never said ______."  But, as I enter high-noon of my life, I am more and more endeared to the two people who raised me.  I know now what caused them to raise their voices, what drove them to tears, what caused doors to slam and tires to squeal.  A little thing called life.

As my parents enter the sunset of their lives, I see what I have to look forward to.  The anxieties and fears of their 30s and 40s have been replaced with acceptance, and the graceful beauty of lives well-lived, in spite of it all.

Mom and Dad, I love you so much.  I am sorry for every time I talked back, broke curfew, rolled my eyes, and broke your hearts.  Rest in this, parents of mine:  not one ounce of love you ever gave was lost on me.  Not one.  Here stands before you now a 30-year-old woman who harbors nothing in my heart for you but gratefulness, and all the lovely sentiment that goes along with it.  Enjoy the sunset.  It looks great on you.

July 14, 2011

not there anymore

Zion needs bifocals, so Daniel took him to the eye doctor (who happens to be in Hong Kong, which translates into a 5-day trip).  This time Bright got to go too, so as not to miss out on the fun twice.  That leaves me and the babe in the house until Tuesday.  Quiet, eery, and surreal.  It's like a flashback to 2007 when I had only one child.  Except then, I thought I was going to lose my mind.  It's all relative, isn't it?

As Brave played with a rubber fish on the floor beside me this morning, and as I sipped my coffee and nibbled on a really good cranberry-white-chocolate-chip cookie, I decided I would call my mom.  After all, retired mothers are supposed to do nothing but sit by their phones and wait for their daughters to call, right?  I think that may have been my expectation, because when my mom answered the phone from a caravan trip to Drummond Island (which I knew nothing about), barely able to hear me because of traffic, losing service in-and-out of the northern Michigan woodlands, and constantly bombarded with incoming calls from my brothers and girlfriend-in-law (is that a term?), I was saddened to tears as I realized two things:
1.) Life goes on back in America without me.
2.) I have been gone a long time.

I hung up the phone and looked around at my apartment.  This is my life, of which no one from my previous existence knows anything about.  I bought carrot nectar this morning, for example, for 3 kuai per bottle, while the storeclerk's wife chopstick-fed my baby a lump of rice and G0D-only-knows-what from her tin lunch pail, and I thought nothing of it.  Does that resonate with any of you?  I didn't think so.  As I listened to my mom talk briefly, over the hum of passing cars, about lakes and tubing and speed boats, I literally felt as if I were sliding further away from her with every word.  She lives in a world of s'mores and charcoal, and I live in a world of tai chi and mule-drawn carts.

Then the words, "Everybody's coming up to the island this weekend except Uncle Randy and Kody...oh and you guys, of course."  I know my dear mama meant nothing by it, but it hit me like a spark from a roaring campfire.  "Everybody" no longer includes us.

Life is full of sacrifices.

So that is what I have to say, on this sunny afternoon in East Asia, while my tuckered-out son sleeps soundly in the other room.  Daniel will come home on Tuesday and our lives will resume.  That's what happens.  Life resumes.   
Regardless of who is, or isn't there anymore.
Holland State Park, Holland, MI

July 11, 2011

her own space

We stacked our little dudes up like this
to make room for this.
When we had the bunks made three years ago, we designed them triple capacity for this very reason.  The boys LOVE being smashed in together.  Its like a sleepover every night of the week!  And lets face it, Jubilee needed her own space.  I always had my own space.  While my brothers were drawing lines down the middle of their room, I was queen of my domain.  A lady's gotta have some breathing room - even if that room is the size of a broom closet.

July 10, 2011

the 10th day of the 7th month

My friend, Mira, just had a son, Augustine, at a birthing center in the Northwest U.S.  She posted a picture on Facebook of her son's name scrolled on a chalkboard at the birthing center, among other babies' names who were born there recently.  On the board, in the company of such names as "Ocean" and "Tetris Audio" (I am not kidding), was the name "Jubilee."  I smiled when I saw it, hoping her parents know the wonderful meaning of their little girl's new name.
The English word jubilee comes from the Hebrew word yobel meaning a trumpet or ram’s horn. These rams’ horns were blown on the Day of Atonement to announce the start of the year of jubilee. The word jubilee should not be confused with the word jubilation which comes from a Latin word meaning to rejoice.  Though the year of jubilee was, no doubt, a happy time, the similarities between the two words are coincidental (at least in human terms).  In the same way, though we are sure our daughter will be a happy child, and we hope for happiness for her, her name means so much more than that.
One of the most beautiful observances that GOD commanded of the Israelites was the keeping of the year of jubilee. Most people only celebrated it once in their lifetimes, some twice, as it only occurred every 50 years. Starting on the Day of Atonement (the 10th day of the 7th month), all who had sold themselves into slavery, to pay off their debts, were set free; and any land that had been sold reverted to its original owner. This meant that no Israelite could ever be in permanent slavery; nor could any Israelite permanently lose his inheritance.
I just love what this observance says about our G0D.  His heart is to release us from bondage, to restore to us that which was intended for us all along (true peace, true happiness, our true identity as sons and daughters of the MOST HIGH GOD).  Our debt requires payment, but rather than paying for it ourselves, he wipes the slate clean. He has already done that for our hearts, and someday soon He will do that for all of creation.  In my sweet Zion's tearful words, which he utters on tough days when nothing is going right for him, "I AM READY FOR THE NEW HEAVEN AND THE NEW EARTH!!!!!"  Yes, my son, someday the yobel will sound a final time, and everything will be restored for good. 

Today is (at least according to our calendar) the 10th day of the 7th month.  Today, I am thinking about our little Jubilee.  We love you, sweetheart.  Things will not be the way they are much longer.

July 09, 2011

go smack yourself

I have sited a reason other than excellent diet for the long life and health of our dear native neighbors (in the absence of medications, you must remember, or knee-replacements, or intensive care units, of which there are none).

They MOVE.  Not when they are trying to get from point A to point B, mind you.  No sir, not at all.  That is an American specialty.  I'm talking about this:  you and I walk by lifting our feet and swinging our arms gently at our sides.  That uses a surprisingly small number of muscles and joints.  Our neighbors, especially during, but not limited to, the morning, lift their legs straight up like members of a marching band, while making vast circles with their arms way above their heads, and/or swatting the dickens out of their own backs as if they are choking on something.  They walk backward on the way to the street.  They smack their legs dozens of times very fast, from their ankles to their hips and back again, while waiting on the bus.  They burst into song, very loudly and spontaneously (this is mostly in the morning) to stretch out their lungs and vocal chords and core muscles, as well as to lift their spirits for the start of a new day.  I'm telling you, these people really move.  The other day, I tried it (when no one was looking, of course, because after all I still have my American inhibitions), and I've got to say, it felt GREAT to swing my arms way above my head for 100 yards.

Maybe I'll keep trying it, and maybe I'll get really comfortable with it, and maybe you will want to walk on the other side of the street from me when we are in America next time, as I will be drawing lots of looks singing and swatting myself in reverse.  I've already grown very accustomed to eating 3-5 different types of vegetables at a meal.  How will I ever go back to peas and carrots, when I am used to turning in at night with a belly full of spinach, eggplant, pumpkin, hot peppers, cabbage, and bamboo shoots?

Who am I kidding, really?  I will always be an American.  Some of my habits have changed, there's no doubt about that, but I don't think you'll ever catch me smacking my own hips in public, and I know I will  never be able to turn down a sausage, egg, and cheese McMuffin on a Saturday morning.  Thank G0D for Blue Cross Blue Shield.

July 06, 2011

bike shop

Overseeing the re-chaining and re-tiring of his bike. 

open hearts

Jerry, Marcy, and Shari are the worlds' best grandparents.  They understand that Daniel and I are not the only ones adopting a child; our whole family is adopting a child. Their love for her is shared by aunts, uncles, and cousins, too!  My Aunt Cass, my mom, and my Aunt Cindy (pictured below in that order) went shopping the other day for Jubilee and sent their spoils, wrapped in pretty paper, all the way across the world with an "it's a girl" card signed with love.  This picture of them, taken on their Jubilee outing, will go in her baby book.
In the box, along with striped leggings, smocked shirts, and tiny panties (now that's a first for us), was this beautiful blanket, hand-knitted by my mom.  I had Daniel snap this photo of me holding the blanket and Jubi's photo, as a sort of "three generations" shot.  Pardon the outlets in the background.  Our apartment is lacking in the sentimental-photograph-backdrop department.
We feel so blessed that our families are responding this way.  She is, after all, more than our daughter.  She is their granddaughter, their niece, their cousin, their sister, and their great-granddaughter.  When we bring this little girl into our home, we are bringing her into a family tree, a forever member of our lineage and our heritage.  There will be, L0RD willing, Chinese children in the Rupp family for generations to come.  That thought is so sweet and special to me.

So I want to say thank you to everyone who loves us, family and friends alike, who have opened your hearts to Jubilee.  We can't wait to introduce her to all of you!

July 05, 2011

wo shi meiguoren

Yesterday we celebrated Independence Day, the birthday of our dear home country, The United States of America.  Happy birthday, old friend.

July 02, 2011

runneth over

I was talking with a young world-changer type this morning at our fellowship, and at first she gave me the time of day.  After all, if one doesn't know me any better, I am hip.  The stud in my nose, the lumps in my ponytail, my fun outfit and the glitter around my eyes all hide my true identity - for a few minutes anyway.  Then the question, "What do you do?" is thrown my way, and I have no choice but to catch it.

"I stay home with my three kids, actually.  See them, over there?  Yeah, the three blond buzzcuts jumping down from the steps.  No, I don't know much of the language.  Too busy, as you can see, ha huh huh...eh hem.  So, I can see you have somewhere else to be.  It was nice to...meet...you" and she's running for the other side of the room, afraid, I guess, that I'm going to wipe a poopy diaper on her, or that I might try to lick my thumb and clean her cheek with my saliva.

Moms.  We don't order at the restaurant because the kids insist they will eat the whole whatever-it-is they want to order, but we know they won't.  We assure our husbands that we are stuffed to the brim and that he must take the last piece or it will just sit there, and then we sneak a banana afterward behind the washer and dryer (no, this is not hypothetical).  We have a permanent, pubescent-like breakout on our chins from the touch of sticky hands, the kisses of sticky faces, and sweaty little heads rubbing around at storytime.  We have bags under our eyes, our busts have been sucked down to nothing, and you could make a coat with the extra skin on our tummies if you cared to take it off and tan it (which I kind of wish you would).

I'll be honest.  I wanted to run after that girl this morning, screaming, "Do you have any idea how valuable I am?!  Do you have any idea how much I have given up?!"  I didn't, though, because if I had, she would have been so offended that she would have missed my final exclamation entirely - the one where I say, tearfully, "Do you have any idea how my cup runneth over?"

July 01, 2011

best friend

It's official.  Bright has his first best friend.  Yesterday, while staying busy with his Sesame Street activity book and a box of crayons, Bright read and followed the instructions on this particular page.  Don't worry, Alisa, your daughter is much cuter than this in real life, I can assure you.
I especially like the red heart floating beside her head.  Yes, that heart means pretty much what you think it does:  Bright's "best friend" is also his first crush.  At 6 and 5 years old, though, I don't think there is much of a difference.