Tag: kaity

We were made for this

kaitlyn_dec2013 She runs outside with the other girls, excitedly whooping and ready for adventure. They’re all cute as buttons, pictures of what little girls look like in their homemade t-shirts and bare feet, or dress up clothes and funny socks.

I look at the window just minutes later (so grateful for the view to the outside, and so grateful for the sprawling, shared yards we have with friendly neighbors). She is there, alone, playing on the climbing wall, having an adventure with herself.

It’s taken awhile, but I’ve learned that these are not sad adventures, and this is not a lonely child. Sometimes, most times, she does not fit in. She is the one with the “thing” that I can’t quite put my finger on, the thing that isn’t a diagnosis or a label. She is going to dress her way, imagine her way, and demand her way. She is going to challenge me and she is going to be challenged.

She is mighty. She is a leader. And she is a child. And that last one sometimes trumps the first two, and the brave warrior comes crashing down, with angry accusations and heart-wrenching tears that break her mama’s heart, because I never wanted my five-year-old to feel that level of fear, of uncertainty, of rejection, of humiliation, or frankly, of intensity.

~

On church day, a friend comes to me. She knows me pretty well by now, and she embraces me as she tells me what she feels God has shown her. It’s confirmation, so I know it’s true. One daughter, she says, is just like her daddy. And this one, she is like you. God is showing you what you were like, so you can see… so you can see…

Like me? This five year old with bravery that I envy? With confidence that I long for? With coolness that I strive for? She is me? Did I leave others in awe? Did I leave my parents in manic states of amusement and frustration and utter bewilderment at my brilliance? Surely not.

But now, colored with perspective, I watch her today. I remember the stories I began to write at age 6, excited ramblings and detailed imaginings. I remember how my heart reached out for others, wanted to be like them, but could never quite change enough to fit. I know that looking back at the girl I was…age 6, age 9, age 12, age 18… age 35, that I was beautiful, but I didn’t see it, so I tried to be something else, anything else.

icor12-4I look in the mirror and see the same blue eyes and pale skin as our youngest child, the one who does not look at all like her three older siblings, (who’ve captured their daddy’s little bit of Cherokee blood, deep brown eyes, and great ability to tan), the one whose flowing blond mane calls to mind “Irish Lass” or “Tinkerbell” until people realize it’s more like “Buzz Lightyear” or “Thor.” Can I have the same care, the same grace, for my own reflection as I have for my baby girl? Can I accept, even celebrate, that those uncategorizable differences my Father gave to me make me special and fun and even great? Can I accept the beauty that others insist is there, in spite of the wiry grays and the extra pounds and general feelings of awkwardness? Can I apply the lesson that adventures of my own making, taken alone, are acceptable and even enough, if they are what I am meant to have?

~
I look outside again, just after writing those words, and see the girls have regrouped, then run off again, except now one has stayed behind with my warrior, swinging on a tire just feet away, companionable but separate. Companionable but separate: kind of like my husband, reading across the room but smiling knowingly at me on the occasions I look up… or my Dad, who sometimes smirks and shakes his head at my “Kelly-ness”… or those friends, some 1000 miles away and some at the next desk, who know my fake smile from my real one (even on Facebook) and when to call me on it.

We were not made to be just like everyone else. We were not made always to fit in the crowd, but sometimes to get lost in it, and sometimes run circles around it. She will be ok, and so will I. And if this resounds in your spirit, so will you.

~ November 2013

The 3rd Day of School

For various reasons, both draining and exhilarating, the first weekend of the school year wore me out.

But this morning…

Oh, this morning:

On the third day of school, the first Monday, we turn to routine, which for us means that when Daddy isn’t out of town, he takes the girls to school. He likes to. (This is reason #EleventyBillionandTen why he is my love, my best friend, and my hero). And quite frankly, I do not enjoy it. The traffic disturbs my calm. The difference this year, today, of course, is that he not only took Randa, but KK too.

I gave extra kisses, and watched them drive away, and closed the door, and leaned on it, and sang a few bars of the “Hallelujah” chorus as I beheld this sight:

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That’s right…me, my house, alone. Oh, the plans we had! The things we did!

Right. I did manage to drink an entire cup of coffee while it was mostly warm and watch an episode of Damages (catching up on everything after the first season) while I was in my jammies. Exhilarating, y’all! But while I did that, I also cleaned the kitchen, straightened up the girls’ rooms, changed the sheets on their bunk beds, folded a load of laundry, cleaned my closet, and…

Well, I planned on what I will do with that one hour and fifteen minute time block for the rest of the entire year!

I do have specific plans… I don’t want to be all legalistic about it, but I will try to keep that hour time for me, and not just errands and chores, so hopefully, at least 3 hours a week will be spent on writing and exercising. Both are key to my health!

Other observations from today:

mannyI actually love Mondays. This has much to do with loving my job, probably for the first time in my adult life…really, really enjoying what I do, and feeling comfortable in it, feeling freedom in it, feeling supported in it.

I still get a lot of questions about what I do: I work on the staff of our beloved church, journey. After the theatre sailed on, I was honored to be asked to remain and work for the church. I’m not totally sure what my title is, but I stopped caring a few months ago :) I work on the website, social media, publications, and communications, and I also assist the Executive Pastor, and sometimes the Generations/Youth pastor and sometimes the Lead Pastors, in all sorts of things…. project managing, resource creating, hunting down 50 pounds of chicken thighs for the village employee luncheon, cleaning a toilet or two, whatever. I model my work after Manny Trillo, a utility player who spent some of his best years on the Chicago Cubs playing short stop and third and outfield and generally rocking Wrigley. If it needs to be done, and I can do it, or find someone to do it, bring it. And Mondays on a church staff, especially after a great day like yesterday, are just fun. Crazy, but fun!

 

My children, like me, are night owls. They look like this every morning, yet they hit the ground running off that school bus in the afternoon and they don’t want to go to bed. Help me, Rhonda! Maybe the end of daylight savings will actually help this year…?
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Playdates are the bomb. Dot com. We used to be pros at these. The moves have hurt us. But now, we have enough friends in the neighborhood (and elsewhere) to make these impromptu gatherings happen. It’s a win-win for all of us.

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Homework time can be pretty awesome, at least on the first day. Today I got to observe Randa rocking her addition and doing better in her reading, in spite of the fact that we pretty much blew off formal summer reading for our special brand of practice (signs, brochures, menus…) And KK did not have any formal homework, but she did practice writing her name in proper case and read her first school library book with her Daddy. She is a much more focused and intense learner than Randa, who prefers to sound out words while looking away and dancing. It will be “interesting” to see how this all plays out through the years…

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“Surprise!” We will never be normal people. This was confirmed once again on Saturday, when I was with my future daughter-in-law as she chose a beautiful and far-from-conventional wedding dress for their big day. It was re-confirmed today when I tried to be a Cool Mom. I had 10 minutes from the time I got home from work to get to the bus stop, which is a half mile away. KK really wanted to ride her bike, so I started off at a brisk walk, trying to juggle both the girls’ bikes. I made it to the end of our street before I realized it was awkward…with a side of awkward. So I waved to the guys finishing a new house there and told them I was leaving the bikes for a few minutes, and then proceeded to walk/jog the rest of the way, in my jeans and flip-flops (It was around 88 degrees, which we are calling “fall-like” weather here. To say I was sweating at the end of all this is like saying Miley Cyrus caused a few raised eyebrows last night). Anyway, I made it to the bus stop with 2 minutes to spare, and the girls actually did not complain the whole way home. What was awesome though, is that about 2 blocks from home, the construction workers rounded the corner with our bikes in the trailer, and delivered them to the girls! How cool is that? I love nice people! I will take that over normal any day…

There are benefits to being awkward weirdos. Feel free to ask me about this, or about my feelings on the Ben Affleck as Batman news. Happy 3rd day of school… or happy Monday, whatever the case may be.

summer lovin’ happened so fast

The #bestsummerever is quickly transitioning to #readyforfall.

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This week is the culmination of sorts. The last of our summer visitors will say goodbye. Paige is packing to leave for her new life in Charlotte (I need to learn how to spell that) with Shabbach Masters’ Commission on Monday. Then we will begin the countdown to having a kindergartner and first grader.

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The circle of life... is exhausting.

I was pretty sure my emotions were at bay until about an hour ago, when my husband sent me my new phone number. It seems after 2 years and 3 months in a new state, I am finally able to make the change. With the school and with work, it makes sense.

But seeing that 843-xxx-xxxx started me on a road of nostalgia. After all, I’ve been 708 since 1989, when 312 changed and well…whatever. Chicago has a lot of area codes. We had 3 or 4 in the same household. Myrtle Beach has one, and it’s time to embrace it.

 

Other things I’m embracing this week~

Our house is going bye-bye…our house in Illinois, that is. It’s full of details and very typical 2013 economics, but I’m thankful for closing this chapter. It is a house full of beautiful memories… getting married, making a family, bringing our babies home…but it stopped being where I thought of as home a long time ago. HOME is where we are together, my love and me, our kids (as many of them as we can have around!), and whoever is daring enough to call themselves our family. One of the most profound lessons learned for me in the past 2 years and 3 months is that definition of home.

IMG_2699Our wedding anniversary is Thursday. 10 years, baby, 10 YEARS! Yes, we celebrated this in March, on our marriage anniversary. Yes, we got married twice, so we celebrate twice every year. We will be delaying a big date night a little bit because of all the other stuff going on. But really, every day is a celebration with this guy! I’m thankful for the great health God has blessed him with this year. I’m thankful almost every moment of this #bestsummerever involved him being able to play and bask and enjoy with us!

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The week ahead will include scurried calls to update the phone number, turn summer hair into back-to-school hair, find the perfect backpacks, cook an awesome steak-and-fettuccine-alfredo-farewell-dinner, soak in some more free summer movies, find a babysitter to keep on retainer, and…get me to the beach.

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These faces make it easy to have a blast, even when the boat rocks or the waves take us by surprise.

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Lots of mixes metaphors here. I’m on medicine (for just a few days, thankfully) that makes my heart beat fast…and my emotions are trying to keep up with all the crazy change, again.

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Stay happy, friends. Summer isn’t over yet!

grand bittersweetness

I love the social media trend of “Throwback Thursday.” Usually, rather than trying to find time to scan old pictures for uploading, it sends me Googling through my own online presence for what was just a few years ago.

Since our ventures in business and ministry, our moves, and our small children makes it seem like our lives change dramatically all the time, finding stark differences in recent history is not hard…

girls2009These two little girls existed in 2009. They are so OLD now in comparison to four years ago…

 

randa2009Also in 2009, they embraced The Sound of Music. This is 3 year old Miranda dancing and singing in the backyard as Maria Von Trapp. They were obsessed with the movie and the songs. I still am!

 

kkbday12009 was also full-on HOME OFFICE mode in our house as we prepared for the first Branson Gospel Music Convention. KK was newly two. She still likes to “work” at my desk (even though we got her one of her own). She will be a CEO, perhaps of the world, and look spectacular while doing so!

 

TheGrandTheatre.usShifting gears completely, today I am switching the website of The Grand Theatre to forward directly to our church website. The sun has set on The Grand. I have gone through my mourning period into one of peace and relief. It was a wonderful season, a wonderful set of little dreams come true in some of the concerts Rod and I got to promote together, a wonderful chance to work the family-friendly entertainment world, … and know that while it has many wonderful points, it’s probably not for me. My mind might be for business, but my heart is for relationship, and Jerry McGuire I am not. I am so grateful for the opportunities we had at The Grand, the connections and memories made. It truly was entertainment on a grander scale!

what box?

In May, we attended Kindergarten Open House with Kaity. It involved some things my baby – the youngest of 4 children with ages that span from 5 to 22 – does not appreciate: convention, expectations, being involved in something that her 6 year old sister knows more about, the perception that she has to dress a) fancy or b) like a princess. (And if you are wondering, she did wear her “fancy” shorts…)

This is how it started:

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No surprises: she does not always do things like we want her to do or think she should.kinderkk3

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However, I gave her space. I stopped trying to take posed pictures. I stopped trying to create a moment and instead, stepped inside her moment. She needed several of them, and then… she was ready to explore her surroundings:

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And after a bit, she was ready to embrace them, in her way...IMG_1745 Sometimes I think KK is so very different from me that I don’t know how I will possibly deal with her, much less raise her, to be a productive member of society. And then I pause, and often find that she has taught me all over again. She is actually just like me, in that she has a specific, sometimes “unconventional” way of doing things. The difference is that while I obsess about making that part of me fit into a box, she couldn’t care less about the box.

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I want to be more like that when I (finish) grow(ing) up.