Friday, February 29, 2008

The Invisible Mom

My cousin Amy sent this to me today. I have seen it before but when it came today, I cried. Thanks for reminding me that I am a good Mom, Amy!! To all you amazing Mom's out there, this is for you!
It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and asks to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone,or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.
Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?
Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Come right around 5:30, please.' I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!
One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'
In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything. A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'
I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'
At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime, because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.
When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.' As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
Great Job, MOM!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What a Difference A Day Makes!

Here's my sweet little Tyler yesterday, hanging out with the sister missionaries. So happy, so carefree. No sign of what was to come last night and today.

Here's my sweet Tyler today. He is sick. Really, really sick. He was awake most of the night last night fussing, crying, miserable. He finally got a couple hours of sleep but when he woke this morning, he was worse. He had a fever, was lethargic and pale. I called the doctor who, thankfully, got him in right away. Diagnosis? The flu. Gee, so glad we all got the non-effective flu shot this year. I was praying this wasn't going to be the diagnosis. Afterall, an ear infection, strep throat, etc. is treatable with antibiotics. The flu is not. It has to run its course for who knows how long. It has to hang out, making my baby miserable. He hurts so bad that he won't move, won't use his arms, won't crawl. It's not that he can't move, use his arms or crawl -- he just won't. And who can blame him? He is in agony.

I hate seeing my children ill. It breaks my heart. I wish I could take it all away and make it all better. I wish with all my heart that a kiss really could heal. I wish no child had to go through these things.

Please say a little prayer for Tyler. Also, please pray that Emmalee and Nathaniel don't get ill as well. I don't think my heart could handle seeing any more of my children in such pain.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Alright, so not totally wordless. :) Emma seems to be saying "BOO!" I couldn't help but laugh. Nate is in love with his swing and loves to sleep there. Tyler is sitting with two sister missionaries serving in our area, Sister Call and Sister Colbert.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Grains of Gratitude

Wow, where did the week go? I can't believe it is Sunday again already. So much to be thankful for, as always.

1. I'm grateful that Nathaniel was able to start early intervention this week. We have been ready for a couple of weeks but with all the illnesses around here, we had to cancel. He finally got started and he did great. He will have physical therapy once a week for an hour and a special education teacher also once a week for an hour. He did great with PT and I already see a difference in his muscles loosening up. Also, it turns out that his special ed teacher is a friend of mine so that was an added bonus. He LOVED her and it was fun to visit and catch up with her as well. I am really excited to see how he does in the coming weeks.

2. I am especially grateful that everyone is done being sick, (knock on wood!) Thank goodness Nate didn't ever get sick. That was a big relief!

3. I am grateful that Tyler is going back to school tomorrow. Not so much because I want him gone, I actually miss him like crazy when he's there. But, I am happy for him. He has missed two weeks of school between being sick and having February break. He is sooo ready to go back and I know he is going to be so happy to see the bus tomorrow. Plus it will be nice to get back into our usual routine.

4. I am grateful for the small milestones Nate has been making. He has found his hands and it is too cute to watch him suck his thumb. He is also more alert lately and smiling so much more. He is such a joy!

5. I am grateful for hearing Tyler talk!! He has been learning so many words lately and the other night he said an entire sentence. I put him to bed and he said, "okay, goodnight Momma!" I cried happy tears. He is growing and learning so much.

6. I am grateful for Miss Emmalee. She sure keeps me in stitches. I really enjoy the time we have together, just the two of us. She told me that I am her best friend. I hope she always feels that way!

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sleep vs. Bookstore

In this corner - four hours of undisturbed sleep.

In this corner - a trip to the bookstore, alone.

*Ding Ding*

And they're off....bookstore seems to have the upper hand, wait, sleep comes out of nowhere and knocks the bookstore out. Bookstore tries to recover but falters. Ladies and Gentlemen, sleep wins!

I gave up my Mommy Time Out at the bookstore this morning for four glorious hours of sleep. It was wonderful but like always, left me wanting more. Truth be told, Brent would still let me go to the bookstore if I wanted but I would feel too guilty. Luckily I discovered a couple of books that I already had and hadn't yet read so really, I have the best of both worlds. The bookstore may have to be on next weekends agenda.

I began reading "Deception Point" by Dan Brown. (He is the author of "The DaVinci Code".) Someone gave me this book awhile ago and it has been up on the shelf. The other night my desperation to have something good to read finally made me pick it up. I read almost 100 pages that night alone. It is not the type of book I would have chosen for myself, based on what I read on the dust jacket. I guess it's true that you can't judge a book by its cover. This book is very engaging and thought provoking. I am anxious to see how it ends.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.

You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.

You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.

You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.

Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.

(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)

You excel in: Inspiring people

You get along best with: The Question Mark

Mommy Time Out

This weekend I am taking a much needed Mommy Time Out. I am going to Barnes and Noble, alone. I am the type of person that can get lost in a book store for long periods of time. I tend to tune out those around me and wander down the aisles. I like to pick up books based on their title, their cover, etc. I have found some of the best books this way. I also like to search for books alone. Brent told me I should call a friend and go together. I declined. I like to experience book stores or libraries on my own, at my own pace. I don't like to visit or compare book choices. I like to take my time and walk around with my own thoughts. I don't like to feel rushed. I guess I am a bit of a snob.

Books have always been an escape for me. Brent and I are firm believers that every person needs that one thing that is their own...something that defines them and brings them great joy. Some people jog, some people sew or crochet or scrapbook. Brent plays the piano. I read. I tend to start feeling blue if it has been too long between books. I am at that point right now. It has been too long since I've read something truly good, truly involving. I crave it. It is a deep, overwhelming need. It is necessary for my well being. Is it Saturday yet?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Grains of Gratitude

I love reading other blogs. One of my favorites is Michelle's. Michelle inspires me in many ways and I really enjoy checking in on her and reading about her beautiful daughter, Kayla. Michelle posts Grains of Gratitude every Sunday on her blog. I always look forward to reading that post each week and decided a few weeks ago that I wanted to do this also.

So here it is, Sunday. We have had a really crazy week. The kids have been sick. Brent has been sick. I have been sick. It has pretty much been the week from you-know-where. I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say that Tyler has Rotavirus and I think the rest of us have had a nasty flu bug. Yuck!

I sat down to read Michelle's Grains of Gratitude today and again thought that I wanted to start doing the same on my own blog. My first thought, though, was that I would start next week. After the week I've had, I really couldn't think of anything to be thankful for, much less write about. But as I sat here, I realized that I do have much to be thankful for. Sometimes during the greatest trials, we find the greatest blessings. So here goes, my inaugural Grains of Gratitude post.

1. I am grateful for my husband. He has been a great help to me all week, letting me rest, helping me with the kids, etc. I know he has also been miserable so I am doubly thankful for his help.

2. I am grateful that Brent has a wonderful job with an awesome sick day policy! He also has an incredibly understanding boss.

3. Although I am not grateful that my kids have been sick, it has been nice in the sense that they have been very loving. I have really enjoyed Emmalee's desire to snuggle on the couch because that is so not typical for her.

4. I am grateful that all of the sickness forced me to wash all the bedding in the house. (And when I say all the bedding, I mean all the bedding...sheets, blankets, comforters, pillows, etc.) This is something I have wanted to do the past couple of weeks anyway. It was so nice getting into bed last night with everything clean and fresh. On that same line, I am grateful that we have a washer and dryer in our house. I can't help but think back to our first months as a married couple and having to go to the laundrymat. I can't imagine having to do that this past week with all the extra laundry.

5. I am grateful for an amazing pediatrician and his office staff. They are incredible people who truly care about our kids and our whole family. What a blessing!

6. And last, but certainly not least, I am very grateful for my mother in law. Today is her birthday. She is amazing. I simply can't express how much I love and appreciate her.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


My friend Julie tagged me! Now I need to post seven random facts about myself and tag seven friends. :)

I love lizards and had them as pets when I was a child. I also love frogs and don't mind snakes.

I drink Diet Coke like it's my job.

I love the smell of April Fresh Downy. Downy is a necessity in my house!

I clean my ears with Q-Tips a lot; sometimes several times a day.

I am allergic to watermelon, cantaloupe, eggplant and raw walnuts. Sadly, I LOVE all these things.

I love lettuce and could easily eat an entire head of lettuce by myself.

I can say pretty much any word in the English language backwards. I can sing entire songs, say's a useless talent but a fun party trick.

Okay, I tag the following....



Kyle and Alli





Friday, February 1, 2008

Our Beautiful Children

This is too funny not to share -- Emmalee was watching this and pointing to all the pictures saying, "That's Bo Bo; That's Ate, That's Emma!" Suddenly she said, "Wow, I am GORGEOUS!" What a ham!

Click to play Happy Valentine's Day!
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