Monday, August 30, 2010

the start of something new

Kindergarten begins today.

You are so ready, Jude London.

You are going to be phenomenal at all things Kindergarten.

I am going to miss you during the day and I know your little brother will too. 

But, I am ready.  Because I know you are. 

Be a great friend.  Be a great listener.  Laugh alot.  Learn heaps.

I'll be waiting for you when you hop off that bus. 

~Mommy (& Leland)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

bridge to boyhood

I am watching how fast time is going right now.
Life is so sweet with its daily dose of laughter.

Joel is in a season of busy but we're so enjoying the time we are getting.
Jude is prepped for Kindergarten. So am I.
I know his little mind is ready for such structure.

Leland is watching Jude and emulating him in so many ways.
I am enthralled by the sibling thing.
It's amazing and wonderful and there are times with these boys where I can't look away.

I took them on a walk tonight.
We went to Gates Mills...a beautiful walking bridge enchanted us.
We threw leaves over the edge and watched them hit the water. 
I couldn't get over how such a sweet and simple place could capture their attention so.

In this crazy time, I'm trying to take not only actual snapshots...but the mental ones too.  This one is a keeper.
I imagine them fishing on this river together when they are older...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the quick 5

1-Jude just got back from Disneyworld with my parents.  All I can say is what a blessing it is to have parents who desire intimacy with my kids....desire to invest time into caring for them so Joel and I can make time for  eachother...and never EVER make us feel guilty for the time they are with them.  Thanks for that, Mom & Dad.  I truly realize how rare it is these days for grandparents to spend that kind of time.

2-Jude starts school in about a week.  I'm actually feeling a total change from last week.  I'm ready.  He's ready.

3-I got to a TON of makeup this last weekend with my girl, Kimberly.  It was a remarkable day!  It's such an honor to help in a Bride's day...

4-Leland cracks us up on a daily basis.  Crawling, at times, with both legs straight - resembles the yoga pose "Downward Dog"

5-Joel surprised me with dinner & tix to the theater to see Phantom of the Opera.  Loved it...and surprisingly still knew every single word to every song from back when I was 11 and obsessed with the production.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

lonestar where are you

A quiet little heart
2 lives daily part
long days, short nights
kind words, rare fights

Season of craze.
Life is a maze.
I wish it would slow.
So time could let us know.

Rat race
Tired face.
Coffee max.
Income tax.

Need to refresh.
Review why we mesh.
Laugh til we cry.
Because time is passing by.

Time won't stop.
Dream bubble will pop.
Keep the coals hot.
A house that won't rot.

Keep going, no doubt.
This poem is me refusing to pout.
I'm loved, that I've known.
Its not what I'm told, but what I'm shown.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

a puppy between them

I have been meaning to share this story for a long time.

I honestly hesitated as I didn't have a photo to illustrate it that I, instead of waiting for the perfect photo, I am just going to share the most darling story.

Back when I was pregnant with Leland, Jude and I did a lot of 'toy prep' around the upstairs of our home.  Joel and I have our bedroom on the first floor and the boys are upstairs.  So, in one of my 'nesting' moods, we went through which toys would be best for Jude to keep in his room and which to give to baby Leland.

I thought it was funny to see Jude gladly give the broken and worthless pieces of old toys to his brother....when he wasn't looking, I was taking those broken pieces and throwing them away. 

Then it was time to talk about his stuffed animal collection.  Jude was a HUGE stuffed animal kid.  He still kind of is from time to time.  If you don't know him well, on his first birthday he received a plush puppy from our dear friends, The Hansons.  Little did we know that this puppy would be the source of such comfort and friendship to our son. 

This puppy went everywhere...was lost a dozen or more times...and looks like it too! 

So, as we perused the stuffed animal collection, Jude surprised me and said he wanted to keep all the animals 'cept for 1.  I asked which one he wanted to give to Leland and he genuinely told me, 'Puppy, Mommy! He is the most special one!"  It was all I could do not to hug him so tightly his ribs would break. the back of my mind, I thought...'When Leland is actually here in the flesh, Jude is never going to part with that puppy!"

One day several months later...Leland at around 4 months had woken up from a nap...cooing and singing in his crib.  Jude asked if he could go and play with him. I agreed.  I walked up to see them both in the crib together...and Jude handing him his most precious puppy.  To this day, little puppy lies next to Lee keeping him safe and warm. 


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jude's bed

I've been half excited and half depressed about the back-to-school season.

On one hand, I am SO sure of Jude's readiness for school and new-found friendships. 

On the other, I am just going to miss the kid alot during the day...the outings we take on a whim...the spontaneous get-togethers with other Moms/Kids.

This morning, I dropped of my parents + Jude to the airport.  They are taking him to Disney World and he couldn't be more excited.  I am so blessed to have parents truly involved and invested in my children.  It was so cute to see him with his little suitcase preparing to go and board his flight. 

I used the time without Jude at home to get his room organized this morning.  I put his school clothes rid of any remaining pants that are too short....cleaned and started to give away some of his little kid toys to his little bro.  Leland crawled around his brothers room cooing and giggling as I got to work.

In an effort to keep a few things from precious Leland, I decided to keep some stuff on Jude's bed knowing that Lee wouldn't be able to climb up there.  After about 45 minutes of cleaning and organizing, I happened to look back to Jude's bed to realize the head of his bed on his pillow lay Woody & Buzz (from Toy Story) and at the foot of his bed were his back pack and lunch box for Kindergarten.  I guess the glance I took on top of watching the Toy Story movies WAY too much...made me a little melancholy. 

The toys....a symbol of him playing at home, pretending, laughing...
The back pack...a symbol of a new season of his life...learning, reading, discovering...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

leland grows and grows

His new thing is standing.  He wants to be in his bed....standing up.

Next to the dishwasher....standing up.

On my bed...standing up.

He is so so brave.  So so proud of himself for all the new found feats he can now accomplish.

He is also starting to royally irritate his 5 year old brother....and it begins.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

a date

It sort of hit me yesterday.

My son is 5.
He starts Kindgergarten in 2 weeks.
He goes to Disney World with my parents next week.
Which means....THIS is my last full week with him at home.


I told him I wanted to spend some time with him, gave him a few options:

1-Playground of his choice
2-Go to the pool
3-Go to the movies
4-Go to dinner

He chose #3 and asked if we could see "Despicable ME" and then grab dessert afterward. 

I was thrilled at how excited he was.  All through dinner, he kept telling Joel, 'Mommy and I have a date and you can't come..." 

I forget how important the exclusiveness can be to a child.  We added little Leland 9 months ago...and Jude has gotten very little 'one on one' time with us. 

We went to the movie, snuggled, laughed, and enjoyed a little East Coast custard.  I know he is ready for this season he's moving into...the question is 'Am I?'

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

something I am so thankful for

I value the age old saying, "Count your blessings"

Not only do I believe that thankful people are happier people but I feel like it just does something to review the success of the past. 

I remember the decision for me to stay home with Jude full-time.  After 6 years in hotel sales/marketing, I had become accustomed to a consistent paycheck.  It was something I had pride in.  It felt good to know that my work 'paid' off and benefited my family. was gone.

Joel graduated from college...began his career and a new trust in me started to form.  A trust that 'someone one' else would take care of me.

It was a scary yet fantastic feeling to know you are loved that much.  I struggled with the feelings of insignificance..."Am I doing enough to help"  I remember Joel assuring me that he 'preferred' it this way.  Rather than going to work and forgetting which sitter had our son....he knew little Jude was at home with Mommy.  He felt secure and so did I.

I woke up to a latte in the microwave waiting for me (thanks baby)...and feel overwhelmed at the love poured out to me and my sons. 

In the words of Jude..."Thanks for making pennies for us Daddy so that we can have food to eat!" 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

an email

I am sure we've all sat in the seat of offense.  A place where we've been wronged, scorned or deeply wounded.  Perhaps its words, a insensitive comment or perhaps it's something that 'didn't' happen that hurt even more.

I think I used to think of myself as a very forgiving person.  A person that got over the hurts easily and moved on.  Only recently have I realized that it's selective.  It's sometimes a hard battle when you can let go of some hurts and others you hold onto with no plan to let go of...

I received an email from someone this week.

It had some 'surface' type talk in it but something in it blew me away.  It was a simple phrase...but one I am not used to hearing....and sadly, not used to saying either.

"I'm sorry for how I hurt you."

Those words, just black letters on a screen, grew legs and walked into my heart.  They melted the scorn...peeled away the bitter...and something soft was underneath...healing began.

It's hard to stay upset with someone who is humble.
Its hard to hold onto hurt when true remorse is evident.

It's a good week. I let go of some stuff.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Starting weight watchers this week with a dear friend....

I am inspired by recent culinary endeavors of friends and chefs alike - I feel more empowered to expand the realm of healthy eating in my family.

Made this whole grain pizza with garlic, tomatoes, light mozzarella and spinach...drizzled with olive oil for an amazing 7-point meal.  Added a salad with balsalmic and handful of almonds for a delicious vegetarian meal.  AND under 10 points!

I have to keep writing about it so I stay inspired....inspire me with your favorite healthy/vegetarian meals!

Monday, August 2, 2010

what is next?

Up until this week, Joel has been crazy nuts with a freelance job.  It's one we are so very honored for him to be working on but I've barely seen the guy since April. 

The great thing is that it (for the most part) is complete.  

I've been thinking of things we can work on together.  
I love dreaming, envisioning, and creating with him. some inspiration from here.  I think I want to create a more minimalist style throughout my home.  Keeping the colors soft and light.  The windows open.  The art meaningful.  I want to get rid of a ton of the unnecessary items.  I want to organize and have a place for each item.  I know it won't always stay that way..but I want to give it a go.

Take a look at my current inspiration: 

9 months

Mr. Leland Ryan
9 months old today

I wish I could freeze this age

When I ask you to say "Ma Ma" 
You smile and say, 'Da Da"

When you see me walk in the room with yogurt,
You grunt and flap your arms 

You still love to nurse while twirling my hair
I love that so much.

You crawl around like a crazy person
and you like to get into mischief already

Your favorite show is Blue's Clues
Your favorite friend to watch it with is Jude

Your thighs are chunky
Your cheeks are chubby

You fuss a bit here and there
Nothing calms you down like Daddy playing guitar

Have we mentioned how in love with you we are?
Cuz we are. 
Happy 9 months old, little love.