Monday, January 30, 2012

Museum Time

Things really have been very busy around here.  January has gone by in a blink.  I think I've signed myself up for that kind of semester. Three art history classes, a writing class, and french.  Plus the spring semester always seems heavy for the kids, too.  We're back into all of our extra-curriculars; drama, gymnastics, dance, and the general work of being a fifth grader.  Throw in some applications for internships, financial aid, etc., and well, you see why my mind is a bit overloaded.  And we've haven't even had a decent snow day to break up the spin.

But I found myself with ten whole extra minutes this morning and thought I could use them to give January a little extra visual loveliness.  In the midst of our busy world, we did make it to the science museum downtown.  Well, actually it was part of our business, since technically it was a field trip for the boy's class.  But since it was a Saturday field trip, we decided to make a day of it and pretend like it was just for fun.  The museum is hosting a mummy exhibit, which was the point of the field trip.  Unfortunately, I was the only one that enjoyed the mummy part of the day.  Chris disappeared with his friends shortly after arriving.  And the girls spent most of their time in front of fish tanks and microscopes.  Oh well, we each found our own fun and that's what counts.

Friday, January 27, 2012

One Time There Was This Time

One time there was this time
when I got so busy that I forgot
 to tell you that I was busy.  

I got wrapped up in Frost and Plath 
And Pharaohs and French -- 
And fell from the face of community. 

Blind eyed reading.
And driving and driving
From one commitment to the next,

And stop.  

One time there was this time
when I got so busy that I forgot
to kiss my baby on the forehead. 

I got wrapped up in Assignment and Stress
And Striding and Accepting --
And fell from the face of continuity. 

Blind eyed moving
And going and going
From one missed moment to the next,

And stop.

One time there was this time --

And stop.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mademoiselle Sicily's Soiree

Ooh La La!  Girls arrived in their best attire to attend the party of the year.  Mademoiselle Sicily's Parisian Soiree.  There was fashion and photography.  Cheesecake and flowers.  Poodles and dancing.  All was beautiful and lovely.  The girls left giddy, in a trail of hot pink feathers.  Afterwards, the birthday girl pulled off her dancing shoes, collapsed in a chair for another round of cheesecake, all smiles.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Sicily

My beautiful baby girl is seven today.  Seven.  My baby.  My Sicily. 

My spunky sprite with the laughing brown eyes.  She is a lovely bundle of mess.  Gymnast and princess all rolled up in a fierce package that can melt your heart with a hug.  She is Biscuit books, cupcakes, Looney Tunes, and ballet.  She is my kitchen helper and my living room floor dancer.  She likes her music loud and her nail polish hot pink.  The girl may have quirky fears, like mascots and talking toys, but she can hold her own on the playground.  She is a mystery that I love watching unfold.  She is loving and spirited and crazy unique.  And I love her deeply.  

 Happy Birthday my sweet Sicily!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

An Imperfectly Beautiful Year

Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past.  
Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.

- Brooks Atkinson

The old year has gone and the new year has begun.  This past year is one that I will always remember and one I will always long to forget.  Looking back through our pictures from this year was a bit shocking.  The year has become such a blur.  I was surprised by how much has happened.  How many things have changed.  How much the children have grown.  How different our life is from what I thought it would be when we began the year last January.  Some growing up.  Some moving on.  Some heartbreak.  Some love.  It has been a very full year.

In January, snow covered the ground.  The boy was in his element.  My spunky, little sprite turned six.  The snow melted but the ice remained.  Our marriage walls came crumbling down.

In February, the kids made sweet Valentines. Steven officially moved out.  I relied on good friends and family to keep me from falling apart.  

In March, we donned green and played leprechaun.  I learned to cook for four.  Sicily discovered a love for roller skating.  The boy built a mouse-mobile and vowed to never do Odyssey of the Mind again.  We welcomed spring.

In April, we escaped to the country, we played with ducks, and went to the aquarium. We had an Easter egg hunt.  Sicily daydreamed her way through soccer.  Analiese became town commissioner for a day.  A violent storm left piles of glass around our front door and the little one hasn't slept through the night since.

In May, we picked strawberries and made jam.  Steven and I started counseling.  We stopped counseling.  I started to lose hope of my husband ever coming home.  My brother-in-law got into a horrible wreck that paused their lives and determined our summer plans.   Sicily danced through a recital and the other two presented their artistic side.

In June, the kids finished the school year with field day and ice cream.  I stepped into my thirtieth year not wearing a wedding ring.  My sweet, dramatic Analiese turned eight.  I moved into a new house with my kids but without my husband.

In July, we went to Arkansas to help my sister and her family.  We watched fireworks there. Chris turned eleven, officially a pre-teen.

In August, we went to Dallas and Legoland.  We said good-bye to summer and hello to a new adventure.  I went back to college. The first day of school arrived and Chris started his last year of elementary school.  We inherited a dog.

In September, autumn arrived.  We went to festivals.  I realized trying to go back to school full time, work part time, and be a full time mom all at the same time is an exhausting endeavor.  Sicily started gymnastics and loved it.  Analiese started piano and drama.  She found her stage.  The boy stepped up around the house, proving a maturity beyond his age.

In October, I fell apart emotionally as the loss and heartbreak really started to sink in.  Chris ran a race with his dad.  We carved pumpkins and I went trick-or-treating with Rapunzel, a hippie, and a butterfly queen.  I found out that my baby sister is going to have a baby.

In November,  the anger of the heartbreak set in and I felt the shift from holding on to letting go.  I gave thanks with family that I love, people who refuse to let me sink.

In December, I finished my first semester of school, and I finished well.  Analiese performed brilliantly as a toy soldier.  Sicily earned her first medal as a gymnast.  We celebrated Christmas as a whole family.  I realized I wasn't angry anymore and I wasn't holding on anymore either. We took a walk in the woods.  We saw family.  Winter came and with it a death of the old giving way to hope for a new future.

And now it's January 1 of a new year.

I thought today was going to be hard for me.  It's our anniversary.  The brilliance of scheduling your wedding anniversary on new years is that should it not work out, you get to start every year in a bad mood.  Unless, you don't.  Unless you wake up and surprise yourself by being OK.  Unless you wake up and realize that a year later the heart you thought was broken forever might just be on the mend.  Unless you wake up and see this new year as a chance for a new start.  Then you might just smile through the tears.

Today I'm dropping last year into the past and thanking God that I can.  I'm letting the process of moving on really begin.  I'm letting go of what I should and holding on to what I can.

I can't see what the year ahead holds.  I don't know what I'll be writing at the end of this year.  That's the fun of the adventure.  I do know that I have three beautiful children that I love, family that supports me, a new dream to work towards, and I'm going to be alright.

Happy New Years everyone.