I guess I’m pretty much between pools of light right now. There surely is another swath of light coming, just as there surely will be another stretch of darkness to follow. Trusting the tides, trusting the love of God, even when I cannot see… This is faith.

Painting by David Linn

Lagging Portraiture

Somehow, in the last almost five years, I’ve forgotten to have my kids’ photographs taken. In a fit of cleaning this morning, I was dusting and stopped to look at these charming little silver-framed portraits. Ohhh… I thought- look at what a darling little juicy chub Abby was- and Bean! oh, he’s so cute…he’s also TWO and a half years old! and wait a minute- Jeffrey was in Kindergarten here. Oh. My. Heck. It’s been that long since I updated their portraits? MomFAIL.

In all fairness to myself, there are snapshots aplenty of all the milestones and the daily miscellany- and there is the blog, which is a nearly daily record of their lives- and yet, there it sits, the gaping gap in the photo record. When I look at these pictures, it’s bittersweet. I hadn’t told you all- only a few close friends knew anything- but by that time, my X was already deep in the Rx bottle and I was clinging to holding my marriage together. When I look at Abby’s sweet six-month old face, tongue sticking out and cherub cheeks, it also comes with the reminder than we were then two-months post-apocalyptic life and headed to another relapse and OD.

It’s probably time to write some new history. Heading to the run of the mill portrait studio isn’t for me anymore, so I think I’m going to be on the lookout for a photographer who might trade me a painting for some portraits- and maybe this time, I’ll even allow myself to be included in the record of our family.

Random Crap: Finals Edition

Yeah, the whole four classes (16 units, 12 is full-time) this quarter was definitely biting off more than I wanted to chew. I’m doing it, but damn, the next week is crush time. One final down yesterday, three more this week. Surfacing just long enough this Friday night to say hi, and take a deep breath.

My kids have two weeks of school left to my one. The University is making me take summer off this year. They said after going to school non-stop for since last spring, I had to take a quarter off. I’m a little ticked. I don’t have time to take a quarter off- but secretly, I’m kind of thrilled at the swath of unstructured time laying before me. It might be nice to play this summer, maybe turn the sprinklers on for the kids and finally mow the lawn (which is now a veritable jungle), head out of town to see some friends and just take a few weeks to breathe.

Bean is totally finding his grove lately. It’s awesome. He’s communicating better and expressing himself more clearly- oh, don’t get me wrong, we still have nuclear meltdowns regularly, but the times without reactivity are getting more and more pleasant. I’m diggin on him right now. He’s even been trying new foods- blackberry jam instead of strawberry. You take the wins where you can get ’em. He was also a bear and got to beat a drum in a play at his school. It was stellar.

Jeffrey and I are equalizing. My oldest child will be ten in August, and the other day he came into the kitchen for breakfast and was wearing a pair of my pants. When I pointed this out, he laughed and said he wondered why they were too long. He wore them anyway. Happy kid, that one.

Abby is obsessed with makeup. I can’t keep her out of my stuff, and she’s got champagne taste. For her mama-date, all she wants to do is go to Sephora. When the sales girls at Sephora greet your five-year old by name and know which glitter eyeliner is her favorite, you think there might be a problem? They dote on her and help her swatch the colors on her arm, then pop her up in the high chair with the lights and mirrors and let her play. Somehow I just can’t see it as a big deal. I don’t actually let her wear make-up, lest anyone think I’m truly off my rocker. It’s all just for fun.

We went escalator-riding at JCPennys today. At least a dozen rounds, all four of us. I’m sure people wondered where their mother was. You know where she was? She was having fun with her kids.

There are frogs in my backyard- I think my neighbors might have a pond. But at night, I love the melodious croaking as they serenade the setting sun while the crickets and cicadas chime in. I leave the window open with quiet joy. Little things…

Bean’s giant bough is still in the front yard. Not sure what to do with it now…

If you have curly hair (boy howdy!) RUN, don’t walk, to the store and buy the Organix Brazilian Keratin Therapy shampoo and conditioner. It smells divinely but subtly like coconut and tropical goodness, it cuts drying time, and makes your hair so soft and silky. I have the 30 day treatment, but haven’t used it yet. I shall return and report.

My friend Melanie turned me on to the awesomeness of Pixiwoo. It’s two sisters in England who are professional makeup artists and they give short tutorials on all kinds of looks- they are fantastic and nearly addictive. I reward myself with some Pixiwoo when I finish an assignment. If you need makeup help, these sisters are the answer to your prayers- everything from how to apply your basics, to super fantastic high-fashion craziness.

Auntie Heather is getting married this summer!

On Sunday I couldn’t find Bean after church. Really not at all unusual- but when I wandered out the backdoor of the chapel, there he was ON TOP of the Suburban in the church parking lot. Oh yes, ON TOP of the ROOF. Pleased as punch with himself. Jeffrey and Abby were standing in the sun just watching him. Something tells me this is going to be a recurring theme in my life.

The sun has finally come out in Washington. It’s been a long, grey, rainy spring, and finally, June, the sun has come out, and the forecast says it’s here to stay. Amazing how fantastic a little vitamin D and yellow spectrum light makes me feel.

One more week… then I’m going to lay around and do absolutely nothing for as long as it feels good. I’m going to leave the windows open all night, listen to my frogs and crickets, eat some popsicles, plant some tomatoes, hang out with some friends, sleep in, blonde up my highlights for summer, paint a little bit, and maybe do some real writing again. Hello, summer, I’m so glad to see you ambling down the road towards us… sit and stay awhile, won’t you?

Abby’s Preschool Graduation

The previous two graduations at this preschool, I had a tiny new baby. This time, it was just me and my three big kids. Kinda cool and different; it felt like truly turning a page in my life. My years of the intense submersion of the pre-school years are officially over. Oddly, this milestone doesn’t cause tears to sting my eyes- I just feel grateful for the wonderful preschool, that my girl is reading, that everyone is happy and healthy, and that summer is right around the corner.

The theme of the celebration was dressing as farmers- which is why my little flower chose to deck herself out in a cotton candy puff of pepto-bismal pink. She was delighted with herself, and I was just glad we got out of the house without the Vader outfit.  She was the tall kitty cat in the barnyard song, and we every so pleased with herself. Her mama was pretty pleased too.