Monday, December 28, 2009

Happy Birthday my Little Prince

He changed my life forever four years ago... (hours old)

He showed me the best of myself and taught me that when you Love, anything is possible. (one year)

Waking up with him every day has made me accept that life is in the details... and every day matters. (two years)

I want to be with him. Every day. Talking with him, exploring mysteries... being present. (three years)

This little boy has redefined what Purpose means to me and has given me every opportunity in the world to make the most out of This Life. (four years)

What is your wake.up call?

For me, I woke up exactly four years ago today... a promise fulfilled. I always thought I knew something... but then James came and showed me it's not about what you know, it's about what you are willing to learn.

Happy Birthday, James Neal. You are my joy, my prize. Even now with your long legs and boyish face, the new hasn't worn off. When I succeed at anything, it's in part because I'm your mom... and that fact alone makes me give the best effort I've got.

Peace, love, and

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Christmas Adventure

With two kids under the age of four, isn't everything an adventure?

Mostly, yes.

Today we took the boys ice skating. TheHotness' work rented out the skating rink for it's peeps and their families... so we bundled up in our matching red buffalo plaids, heated Jax a bottle, grabbed the telephoto and hit the road.

We had a great time. James was so excited to try. He is very in to ballet these past couple of weeks. I think it was the Nutcracker that did him in. That and my iPod's Christmas playlist heavy with Handel's Messiah and George Winston... ** His little feet point and the pitter.patter starts. His arched arms go up, and he flits and flitters all over the house. Twirl! Spin! Dip! Leap! It's so precious that even Marcus doesn't have the heart to stop him. *I love that about theHotness... he's not 'macho.' Being a momma of boys, I pick up on that overly.macho.daddy stuff I see sometimes in other daddies. The idea of 'toughening up' little boys, frankly, makes me want to hurl. So when Marcus lets James dance in the kitchen and looks on with patient eyes, I appreciate HIM being the man my children call Daddy. He's comfortable letting them be children first, little boys second.

Anywho, James has talked about his ice.skating debut all week. He's told me all about how cold the ice would be, and that he thinks that I should be his partner. He has told me to dress in a 'pink puffy.skirt' (he means tutu) so he can 'fro (me) up in the air so i can catch you.' And as if that wasn't cute enough, he would promptly follow that declaration with 'see, like this' *jump.JUMP.grabby hands.BIG.bow* Very cute.

On our way, I asked him if he was nervous. He said, 'No, I just haff to try my best.' He asked if he was going to fall down. We jumped in, 'sure you will. You may fall down a lot. But that's a part of the fun.'

He did fall down... a lot. But as promised, he did have lots of fun.

It was a great experience. TheHotness is the Worlds.Most.Patient man, and let James skate/fall til his heart was content. I was amazed how he could navigate the rink with a 40lb toddler slip.sliding between his feet and hanging on whatever his hands could grab on his way down without falling once. We ended our adventure with big tufts of cotton candy. (And ibuprofen for Marcus... since there is a good chance he may regret this little activity in the morning.)

I love these boys. I love my life. I'm so glad that this choice led to that choice ultimately bringing me Here. So many things could have gone wrong along the way... but here I sit, utterly amazed with the life Marcus and I have created together.

Lately when things get loud... or messy... or both, like magnets searching for our poles, we inadvertently grab hands or catch each other's eyes and we can't help but grin. A little weary grin of validation. Our life is chaos. Hard work and guts mixed in with bursts of chaotic '' moments. The combination is honestly combustible. And thankfully, most of the times we burst into laughter rather than tears- because when the dust settles, and I survey my life and how I spend my time, I'm pleased with what I see. My downy soft nest glitters with signs of Life. My sweet.Little.Three clamouring for my attention... I get to mother them. I get to claim them. I get to whisper Dreams into their ears at night as they sleep before falling into my own bed. What an absolute privilege I've been given...

I want the peace in knowing that one day, when Recollection grabs me, I can look back and find this moment in time and know that I savored every acute detail of being the mother to my Littles. They will always be mine, but they won't always be little. In fact, with every new day, they slowly change from being my moon.eyed.bebe.boys to something less familiar but equally magical. I want to be focused, present, and real... so when they look back into their own memory, they will find me here... fully invested in them. Content... wishing to be no where else in the world.

Now, on to the action shots! :)

These were taken on our way out when we were making 4ish trips back and forth between the car grabbing this hat, that hat, a snack, extra bib- you get the idea. ;)

A little less like Nutcracker on ice... but splendid fun none the less! :)

Peace, love, and spun.sugar.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

...Drum.Roll Please...

As this week has shown me... there is no time like the present.

So, without further ado...

I present to you

Let's just look at my fancy domain name.


Now click it!


Check it out!

I hope you love it... like I do. :)

You can contact me through the site. Just for fun, like two kids on walky.talkies in the other room, shoot me an email through my contact form so I can get all giddy! :)


Peace, love, and potential.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

We've been good.

I hope Santa has a big ole bag... because I've got two special little boys who have been very (VERY) good all year. Rumor has it, that we may see a few of these items very soon.

We don't really do characters, movie characters, etc... not on clothes... not with toys... but I gave in on this item. James really loves video games and computer games... so this is a solid effort to claim back our iPhones.

With a few other things here and there... a refill of roll paper for the art easel, paints, books, etc, we are good to go! TheHotness and I can't wait to get on the floor and play! I've called dibs on the lite.brite! *My very favorite Christmas present ever, aside from my glow.worm. TheHotness is jonesin to set up the Marble Run... and I've already brain.stormed the pictures I plan to take with theDuckling and his giraffe teether and BlaBla dolls... And my daddy is stoked about the workbench. *His favorite toy as a kid. I hear Aunt.Carlie has set James up on All.Things.Playdough... I just can't wait to get in there with my boys and make a mess!

Parenting pretty much *rocks.* Hands down, it's the coolest thing ever. :)

peace, love, and tempra paint.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Oh! Christmas...

Hello there...

I've been battling much here lately. Nothing sad or dreadful- just the usual Bustle that beats it's way into my life this time of year. I'll admit, that I look forward to Christmas... with it's Magic, it's smell... the Cozy that hard effort provides. But then it starts. December 1st. Then 4th and 10th... and now December 16th. Half way through the season, and what do I have to show for it?

My To.Do list has some scribbles and checks, which is a good sign... but at this exact moment, my life is hanging between the balance of Holiday Magic and The Daily Grind. Of course, each year I promise myself to limit this and that... keep my stress levels low and my spirits high. And every year I fall somewhere on that scale between Missed.the.Boat and Utter.Success. So far, I'm treading water... holding my own... with lots having been accomplished, and lots left to do. The shopping is nearly complete. I've got much of it wrapped and ready- and waiting for the rest to be delivered on our Christmas.stoop. I've got the boys ready for a Christmas shoot. Our annual 'look at us now' effort to document who they are at this very moment in time. My Christmas cookie list has populated itself... and I look forward to working that out in my kitchen as my boys look on with hungry eyes and sticky fingers. My bed is still unmade... :)

Things are different this year, though. James is decoding all this Christmas business and asking lots of questions and trying to figure it all out. He's so excited. Everything seems to amaze him! It's precious. His level of excitement directly coorelates to the volume of his voice. And since everyday he experiences something 'new' our Little.Nest gets louder and louder. It's adorable. He is my little Christmas boy... He made me a mother nearly 4 Christmases ago. The season hasn't been the same since. My little Rocky.Horse... My little Gingerbread.Boy...

Of course he had his annual photoshoot with Santa again this year. Same time, each year, same Santa. He gets to ride in Santa's sleigh and spend a whole evening with the guy. I believe he wished for a piano this year. :)

It's theDucklings FIRST Christmas... oh, that child! He is crawling, pushing, and scooting everywhere now. I love it. He's so fat and luscious. We tend to gather him up and tuck in to his warm.buttery.goodness. Our little Figgy.Pudding... :)

TheHotness is winding down his week, ready for his Christmas holiday. Two full weeks home with us... waking up together, sharing coffee and breakfast. *I can't wait*

Mustard.Seed is quiet for now, until the first week of January. I've been so busy. It's been magical. I'll release my website the first of January! I can't wait to share it... :)

I'm hoping to blog more now I'm caught up on things. I'm also getting the details for James' birthday lined out. My little Wild Thing is going to have quite the Wild Rumpus here in a few weeks...

Merry Christmas, lovelies... I hope in your corner of this Life, all is Merry and Bright.

Peace, love, and hazelnut.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Seventh Month...

But first, here is theDuckling in his sixth month.

And now? He's seven.months.perfect.

Oh! Our sweet little milk.and.honey... He's such a genuine little guy. Happy all the time. Easy going like his daddy. We generally just gather around him and stare. James loves him so much. "Momma, don't you think our bebe is spectacula?" *sigh* He certainly is...

Peace, love, and sugar.

Thanksgiving, in particular...

The details of The Day are as follows...

Generally, our Thanksgiving Feast is held at my sister's house. However, this year she was recovering from surgery and Momma had a dinner table. It's a big deal- the table, not the surgery. My mother loves beautiful things... She loves them so much that unless she finds that perfect addition, she would rather go without. The apple didn't fall far. Anywho, with much begging and pleading, we convinced Carlie to let us temporarily give Thanksgiving to Mother. Just this year. Just this one year. Carlie needed the R&R. And to make this perfectly clear in blogland, Momma having a table is a really big deal in our world... deserving of a proper feast. :)

There were the usual players- my parents, my Aunt and Uncle and Cousin+Fiance... Carlie, Wes, and the kids... and TBOY! Tboy was in town with his girlfriend and Dixie, his puppers. I loved having him home and didn't nearly get enough time with him. He got a kick out of Jackson and James... and spent the entire day holding one and tackling the other- not at the same time, you understand. I wish he were here all the time...

We truly had a feast! Fried turkey, praline sweet potatoes, my.fav.pea.salad, green bean casserole, Momma's corn bread dressin', my Grandmother's ambrosia and cranberry salad... I'm missing something... Then on to dessert, with which I take full credit. Individual pumpkin and apple pocket pies, chocolate Italian cream cake, gingerbread turkeys... and other yummies that I'm forgetting.

I loved the day, the food, the people, and the football game afterwards. It's fun to get outside and play like a boy. Our kids (Carlie's and mine) were so much stinkin' fun... and when theHotness picked me up and twirled me around in the air to 'tackle' me I felt like a girl again. He's a and I love it when he reminds me. Carlie propped theDuckling up against the picture window to watch us. James would drop his shoulder and tackle anything in his path- regardless what his mother said. The men loved this. He was in Heaven. In that moment, we all were.

Peace, love, and grass.stains,