Tuesday, May 31, 2011

One day down, 78 more to go

Today marked the first day of Summer vacation. The day went fairly smoothly, despite perhaps a little too much time spent in front of various screens (computer, television, etc...) There was minimal fighting, healthy meals at appropriate mealtimes, household chores checked off the list, Duke got both (!) of his naps, and I even got to sneak in a few minutes of reading during the day (unheard of). Maybe this summer vacation stuff won't be as bad as I was expecting. Actually, it was nice not to have anywhere to be. No rushing around, searching frantically for the missing sandal, taming tangled hair, scarfing down a quick lunch before shuttling the girls to school.

Izzy used this picture of her and I for a
Mother's Day craft at school
Loved these two ladies!
Izzy's teacher, Mrs. McLoughlin, and her assistant, Mrs. Anderson.
I couldn't have hoped for better teachers.
Izzy "graduating." Notice her cap made out of red construction paper with a yarn tassle. The teacher called them all up, one by one, and had them answer a few simple questions. What's your full name, how old are you, when's your birthday, what do you want to be when you grow up? Izzy said she wants to be a cowgirl when she grows up. Love it! No boring princess or ballerina for my girl. There was another little boy in her class who said he wanted to be a cowboy. Hmmm. Should I be worried?

I filmed Eliza's class program instead of taking still shots, so when I figure out how to upload it here, I will. I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea that I favor one of my children over the others...I know this post is Izzy-heavy. That is one challenge with having twins - I have to be very careful to make sure things are equal and even. I think this is a challenge with any set of siblings, but I think it's magnified with twins because the comparisons are happening instantly, not years apart.

One day down. If you have any ideas of fun things to do during the next 78, I would love to hear them!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The end is near...

School is out for the summer on Friday. I won't even go into how this fact makes me anxious.

At the beginning of the school year, my girls complained that I was never the first car in the pick-up line. I promised them that before the end of the school year, I would be first. It seemed like an impossible goal, as there was always some van that rolled into the loop at least an hour early.

I will be at school Friday for Isabelle's end of the year program (Eliza's class had theirs on Tuesday), so today was my last chance. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute. Not wanting to risk it, I showed up at school over 2 hours early with a book, some Swedish Fish and a napping baby.

Eat my dust, fellow pre-k parents.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mortal angels

It's 99 degrees outside (or at least it feels like it). I can't seem to stop sweating, despite my ice cold shower, from my mid-afternoon jog around the neighborhood. I'm trying to squeeze in a few errands and make it to work on time, with all three kids in tow. Not going so well. I'm frustrated and rushing. It happens as I'm turning the corner. The last drop of gas used up. The car slows, and in reaction, I furiously stamp on the gas pedal, hoping somehow to use the last few vapors. I miraculously coast into a nearby parking lot, out of the way of the busy afternoon traffic.

I've made this mistake one other time in my life. Or was it two? The last time I ran out of gas I was fortunate enough to coast into the parking lot of the gas station. This time I was not so lucky.

I sat there, stunned for a second, in furious tears the next, sobbing on the phone to Taber, who was stuck at work. As soon as I could think clearly, I put on my brave mommy face and came up with a plan. We were all going to walk across the street to an auto parts store, buy a gas can, walk a little further to the closest gas station, get a couple gallons of gas and walk back to the suburban.

That's when my angel appeared. In the form of a good friend from church. She saw us all standing on the busy street corner - baby on hip, two little blond girls holding hands, melting in the afternoon sun, waiting to cross the street. I bet we were a pathetic sight. She honked and waved and turned. Not sure if she would rescue us or not, we continued on with our original plan. I had the gas can in hand when she found us. She offered to take us all to the Y, where she just happened to be heading, but not before Izzy blurted out, "My mommy was crying really hard in the car." Cover blown.

My good friend has now become my dear friend.

The story doesn't end there. She called her mom and had her bring a gas can into town. They found me at work and asked for the keys to the car. I handed them over, along with my debit card. A little while later, my special angel came back to give me the keys and card and told me that her mom had not only put a few gallons in to get us to a gas station, but they had taken the car and she had put $60 worth of gas in it. But not with my debit card - with hers. It was sitting out in the parking lot of the Y when I was done with work. Like nothing had ever happened.

It was a crappy day. But looking back on it all, I feel so incredibly blessed. God is aware of me and my struggles. He is watching out for me. He knows me. He loves me. What an amazing lesson that was for me to be taught today.

*    *    *    *    *

This experience reminded me of a talk given by
Here are a few fitting excerpts:

"...When we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods."

"...Heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind."

"My beloved brothers and sisters, I testify of angels, both the heavenly and the mortal kind. In doing so I am testifying that God never leaves us alone, never leaves us unaided in the challenges that we face. '[N]or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man [or woman or child] upon the face thereof to be saved.' On occasions, global or personal, we may feel we are distanced from God, shut out from heaven, lost, alone in dark and dreary places. Often enough that distress can be of our own making, but even then the Father of us all is watching and assisting. And always there are those angels who come and go all around us, seen and unseen, known and unknown, mortal and immortal."