Friday, May 30, 2014

Pictures and The Princess Bride

Let's be honest: I've fallen off the blogging band wagon. So my goal for today was to write something, anything, on here. And as luck would have it, I think it's mostly going to be captions for a massive amount of pictures. So let's get this done!

Incidentally, the Man and I watched The Princess Bride this weekend, and I threatened to do a post that consisted solely of Princess Bride quotations. I don't really plan to follow through with that, but…don't be surprised if a couple random bits pop up.

"Are all these children yours? Gracious, you have been productive." <--Name that quote. And no, it's not from The Princess Bride.

Littles took on a friend of ours with pugil sticks. He's a natural.

See? Jonathan didn't rig this at all...

My mom is the best Skype picture taker ever. She loves to take pictures of me and the kids while we're eating breakfast and then send them to us. Normally, I'm super grateful to see pictures of my bleary eyed, bed-headed, pre-coffee self, but then she sent me this picture, and I suddenly became glad for her trigger finger and the Little Man's inability to get through breakfast without Skyping with Neni.

Incidentally, for those of you who can't tell the difference, that's Bee, not Bruiser. Pajamas are equal opportunity in our family.

The boys are starting the twins early with the lego mania.

"Beautiful, isn't it? It took me half a life time to invent it."

"The chocolate coating makes it go down easier. But you have to wait fifteen minutes for full potency. And you can't go swimming after for at least an hour."

"I challenge you to a battle of wits."

"Oh my sweet Wesley! What have I done?" (I'm sorry, Bruiser. I couldn't help myself. It had to be done.)

"You mean you wish to surrender to me? Very well. I accept!"

I am waiting for Vizzini! I mean, Daddy.

I confess that this post has just drowned itself in Princess Bride quotations. Also, I promise that Tiny was much happier once the Man got home, but this was his first day of the wonderful sick that proceeded to infect every single one of our children over the last two weeks.

Tell me those are not the cutest babies you have ever seen.

Next come twenty different gazillion pictures from the Little Man's pre-school graduation.

Bee was absolutely enthralled waiting for the ceremony to get rolling.

The Man is going to kill me for all of the following pictures of him, but it's just so much fun to be able to take pictures of him instead of just sending pictures to him. Plus, he makes Bruiser look good. And vice versa.

There's Littles getting his "diploma". The graduation was nautically themed--personally, I think those sailor caps are significantly more flattering than mortarboards.

There's our little graduate.

If we splice together this picture...

…and this picture, all of our family would be present. Minus Tiny's eyes and Bee's face, of course. Pictures are hard, man.

Bee to Bruiser: "It's not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don't even exercise!"

Still Bee to Bruiser: You WILL hold my hand!

This is how the boys spent our rainy Memorial Day weekend. It was fantastic. Someone needs to tell me that my tent making skills are epic. I should list that on my resume.

This is how the Man spent his rainy Memorial Day weekend. He should list that on his resume.

It's been a wonderful five months with these rocker babies.

And evidently, it really wore them out.

Me too, guys, me too.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Weeding Hope

{I've been sitting on this post for almost three weeks now--seriously--because I haven't come to a good conclusion for it, and that's embarrassing. In consequence, I haven't written anything else either, which is also embarrassing. There is no logic to this, I'm aware. Anyway, in an attempt to move on with my life, I'm going to post this and hope I can get back to writing other things. Maybe one of you can find a way to tie this up a bit more neatly for me.}

In preparation for the Man's mother visiting a few weeks ago, I decided to tackle a few projects around the house that had been thumbing their noses at me. Don't worry, the house is now back to its usual state of post-twin disarray (yogurt finger smudges are the new wall decor and crayon scribbles the new faux carpet).

The Little Man being well aware of my driven tendencies, decided to get a jump on the work load by tackling some yard work while I was finishing my morning coffee. He came cheerily in from the backyard around the time I was deciding that I might actually want to face life and informed me that he'd taken care of the weeding for me.

Pause for effect.

Now, I will be the first to tell you that our yard is more weeds than anything else. In fact, it is more honest to say that we mow the weeds than mow the grass. So the sinking feeling that I had in my gut was completely unwarranted. There were certainly plenty of weeds to pull. But I've learned to trust the Mother Instinct over the last few years. It doesn't stop certain things from happening (like when Tiny dumped the entire bottle of baby wash that I had just bought) but catching my children in the act sometimes minimizes the damage. Anyway, the Mother Instinct instructed me to throw on a pair of shoes and go survey my newly "weeded" back yard.

Sure enough, littering the "grass" were all of the tulip bulbs that the Man had painstakingly planted two years ago.

I thought I was going to throw up.

And so that you are aware that this was an extreme over reaction, you should know that a total of one tulip bloomed this year, and it was short and runty. I have a black thumb, and we are in year three of Oklahoma drought.

I don't know, though… There was something about it. Until Littles pulled up those bulbs, I could keep hoping that they were going to bloom one last time before we moved. Once that possibility was removed, it felt…a little like grief. Which was weird. Because they were just. tulips. Unblooming ones at that.

At any rate, I thanked the Little Man for his weeding prowess, and we had a short discussion about what weeds are, and we proceeded to pick up all of my decimated tulips and move them to the trash bin. Somewhere in the midst of the clean up, Proverbs 13:12 came to mind, just the first part: Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

I truly hoped, however unfounded, that those tulips were going to bloom for me this year. They did last year. But all the rest of the tulips in this town had bloomed, and mine didn't show any signs of following suit.

Hope deferred, friends, hope deferred.

And the truth is that I wasn't going to get to see them bloom next year either since we won't be here next year but that's another story for another time.

So what's the point? I've been waiting three weeks to figure that out.

I feel like there should be some great revelation in the second part of the verse, "A desire fulfilled is a tree of life."  I know this. I'm getting The Man back today--desire fulfilled, tree of life. But I think the question I am raising is how do we heal a heart that's been made sick by a deferred hope? And no, I'm not just talking about uprooted tulips here.

When the grief of broken hope has tangibly sickened our hearts, where do we go? Yes, I  know the easy answers, the quick neat bow to tie on this, but I'm questioning how we plant new desires in sickened soil and then wait to see if those seeds turn into trees of life.

For the woman who has suffered through miscarriage or still birth. For the one in the midst of a broken marriage. For the person who has relapsed into depression or sickness or, yes, even sin. When we are confronted by the death of our hopes, where do we go? What do we do?

Is it really as simple as waiting on Jesus to bring healing and new growth (and perhaps facing the reality that there's nothing we can do in and of ourselves and there never has been)?

I told you: no neat conclusions, but I'm going to go ahead and put this one out there so I can stop thinking about dead tulips and the existential side of weeding. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Pictures and Rabbit Trails

I've had these adorable pictures of the twins ready to post for a week now. But we had family visiting (which was wonderful) and then the week just got away from me. But the twins are in bed, Tiny is busy dumping things, and I'm sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee while Littles colours green flowers and sings nonsense songs at an unholy decibel. 

Mornings are loud. 

He did make me my coffee though, if that redeems him somewhat. The Keurig and Littles are friends.

Point being, our wonderful Katie came last week to watch the kids while I ran to the grocery store and while she was here, did a photo shoot with the twins so that they won't be entirely remembered in grainy cell phone pictures. And I wanted to share them with you. 

I don't, however, want to share Katie with you. In fact, the Man and I have spent an inordinate amount of time brainstorming ways to convince her to move with us this summer instead of with her family. At the end of the day, though, I have decided (I won't incriminate the Man with this thought process) that the best route is to con her into visiting us and then never let her go back to her own family. Bonus points for us if we can get her to bring her best friend Hannah with her. I'd never have to decorate for Christmas ever again!

And now that I've concluded yet another rabbit trail, here are some cute pictures of the twins courtesy of Katie's budding interest in photography!