Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kairos vs. Chronos

I recently read an article that hit me like a ton of bricks. You know, one of those articles that you think, "If this girl and I lived near each other, she and I could be BFFs." Yep, like that.

Every single word is so Her article addresses those feelings you feel when sweet older women tell you, "to enjoy every minute and the time is so precious."

Does it make me a deadbeat mom if I don't? Well, according to her, I have at least one other person who feels the same way.

She goes on to write that, "There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It's regular time, it's one minute at a time, it's staring down the clock till bedtime time, it's ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it's four screaming minutes in time out time, it's two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in. 

 Then there's Kairos time. Kairos is God's time. It's time outside of time. It's metaphysical time. It's those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them."

Like this...

or this...

  And this? It's like kairos on steroids.
"Like when I'm stuck in chronos time in the grocery line and I'm haggard and annoyed and angry at the slow check-out clerk. And then I look at my cart and I'm transported out of chronos. And suddenly I notice the piles and piles of healthy food I'll feed my children to grow their bodies and minds and I remember that most of the world's mamas would kill for this opportunity. This chance to stand in a grocery line with enough money to pay. And I just stare at my cart. At the abundance. The bounty. Thank you, God. Kairos."

"Parenting is hard. Just like lots of important jobs are hard. Why is it that the second a mother admits that it's hard, people feel the need to suggest that maybe she's not doing it right? Or that she certainly shouldn't add more to her load. Maybe the fact that it's so hard means she IS doing it her own way...and she happens to be honest."

But my favorite quote of the article is what she hopes she's going to say to a young mama in line at Target gritting her teeth when she becomes that "older woman".

"It's helluva hard, isn't it? You're a good mom, I can tell. And I like your kids, especially that one peeing in the corner. She's my favorite. Carry on, warrior. Six hours till bedtime." And hopefully, every once in a while, I'll add -- "Let me pick up that grocery bill for ya, sister. Go put those kids in the van and pull on up -- I'll have them bring your groceries out."

 Amen, Sister.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Butterflies in the Garden

Finding a family friendly outing with three kids can be challenging to say the least. Working around nap times, finding something that's not too expensive, loading them all up, chasing them around all make it sometimes easier just to stay home.

But we had Good Friday off of school this year and I got a great deal to see Butterflies in the Garden at the Botanical Gardens here in town. Once I managed to get everyone loaded up and happy, we were set. Well, ok so maybe I called in Grandma and Granddad for backup. Don't judge.

We had to wait a while but when you're waiting at the Botanical Gardens, the wait doesn't seem so bad.

Landry was in the baby snuggli with my dad. My poor dad's shoulders, I'm sure he was probably rubbing icy hot on his shoulders after such a beating.

 The conservatory was so amazing. You couldn't take a step without seeing vibrant butterflies fluttering by and resting on a nearby branch saying in their own little way, "You think that one's beautiful? Well watch this!" It was a butterfly showdown if I've ever seen one.

Campbell was on full alert and going on a butterfly hunt.

We had a butterfly service for my sister after her battle with breast cancer and being surrounded by hundreds of beautiful butterflies was food for my soul.

Not including the conservatory, I've never seen as many butterflies as I have this Spring. I'm sure that a lot of it has to do with the connection of Tonya's middle name, Vanesse, means butterfly. But these little whispers of "I'm still here with you" that I hear everytime I see them flying around keep me reassured that her memory will forever be with me.

I worry my children will not remember her, or at least Nolan who is old enough to remember her. But everytime I see a butterfly for the rest of my life, I will look at it as an opportunity to describe their wonderful aunt who loved them dearly.

Perhaps what has meant more to me than anything is that many people, some of whom I hardly know, email me or tell me that they can't see a butterfly without thinking of Tonya. What a wonderful testimony that her story has had an impact on others, and her memory will continue to live.

With grieving, you find that at first everyone is there and supportive in every way. But as the days move on, people move on too. You ask youself how can people move on and act like nothing ever happened? But in another sense, you need that. You need it so you can move on from your pit of despair.

The kaleidoscope of butterflies might have just been exactly what this mama needed to begin "moving on". I've been terrified that I hadn't had a dream about Tonya. It took two very long months. But in my dreams? Tonya was doing my makeup and did one of my eyes and I looked like I could have given Angelina Jolie a run for her money with how beautiful she made me look. It's a dream, just go with me on this one, ok? So I tried doing the other eye, and I ended up looking like a raccoon! We burst into laughter. I love that even in my dreams, she was healthy, beautiful and we were like we always were...sisters laughing.

“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
Anne Lamott

And I'm still learning to dance.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mother's Day/Baby Dedication/Cry Fest

 I can wrap up my Mother's Day is two simple words...cry fest. We wanted to have Landry dedicated and we just kept letting time slip away from us. So with Mother's Day approaching and the brick feeling of it being the first Mother's Day without Tonya, we decided it was be a good distraction.

My mother-in-law flew in to see Landry's dedication. It was great having her here and to have her be part of the celebration. Nolan woke up as pale as a ghost and throwing up. Nothing will remind you that you're a mom on Mother's Day than taking care of a sick one. Rescheduling the dedication was not an option since people had flown in for the event and we had more people coming to church to see it.

So we're the deadbeat parents that gave our son a tiny bit of Dramamine and had him lie down on the back pew. But I think it worked because by the time church was over he was playing on the playground and running around and crying because he was so starving. So that's why Nolan is missing from our dedication pictures. There's always a story to keep our lives interesting.

Landry looked like an angel. I was nervous about having her in white. My luck with white is disastrous. A blow out or spit up is usually involved. But we made it through the whole service without any disasters!

It was her first time wearing shoes and she wasn't sure about those things.

Rob, our minister and friend, did the dedication and she was totally working the crowd with her coos, and Rob even paraded her up and down the aisle and she just stared at him. It was too cute.

My sister's best friend Sheri made it to service with her beautiful family. Having Sheri there was like having a piece of Tonya there with us. One of Tonya's last wishes was that necklaces be made for her girls with her ashes so she can always be close to their hearts. Each of us wore our necklaces to honor her on our first Mother's Day without her here with us.

During the service, the choir sang "Love Never Fails." Which is the same scripture that was read at Tonya's butterfly service and I pretty much lost it. I hadn't lost it like that since her service. It just really struck me that all these big events like Landry's dedication were going to be without her to celebrate. Madison, my oldest niece, was there and it made my day.

Nolan has been throwing up sick three whole times in his life and my mother-in-law happened to be in town for two of them. She's going to think we're going around letting him lick doorknobs.

And on top of the whole thing, our very close and dear church friend just graduated from Brite Divinity School from TCU and they're moving to Colorado after three years of love and laughter here. So once again, the kleenexes made an apprearance. Justin did a photo shoot with them so they could remember Texas forever.

The emotions were uncontainable all morning. Seeing my church family love her like I do, having my family there, and the blessings and love she's brought us in eight short months were just too much.

I know the blessings are overflowing in the midst of sadness of losing Tonya. I think the tears were a rollercoaster of my cup overflowing, shadowed with a hole in my heart.

The blessings are helping me heal. Thank you God for the blessings.

 last Mother's Day, right before we found out Tonya's cancer had returned.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

8 months

Sister has been flying through milestones in record timing. She actually sat up later than the boys at almost 7 months. My favorite stage is when babies just sit up and you can put toys in front of them. I was really excited that it took her a little later thinking that it was going to buy me another month before she started crawling.

Seriously, within weeks of sitting up, this girl was so bored with sitting. She wanted to MOVE! The boys didn't crawl until 9 or 9.5 months but she was crawling by 7.5! AGH! So that means no more shoes on the floor, plants being knocked over with soil spilled everywhere, and baby proofing like crazy. Landry SO did not let me enjoy the "sitting" stage.

But her excitement about crawling is just too cute. We have two bottom teeth that came in at 5 months but now all four of her top teeth are popping through. Most days, she doesn't complain about them, but some days they get the best of her and EVERYTHING goes in her mouth right now. And that's not good for a germaphobe mom.

These monthly pictures just got a WHOLE lot harder to take. I swear she almost fell off the chair about 10 times because she NEVER sits still! Looks like our next set of monthly pictures will be a two person job.

We've got days left of school and I'm counting down my days to spend with the kids, although I already know sanity breaks will definitely be needed! Hello, VBS, don't mind if I do! But having time to love on my love muffin makes me even more excited about this summer.


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