Archive | June, 2010

Our Crowning

28 Jun

Matthew and I were blessed to go through the betrothal and crowning service on Sunday after liturgy. I was going to blog about it, but my dear husband beat me to it!  If you’re interested, head over to his blog to read about the blessing. What a joyous day it was, and how lucky we are.  I have a little to add to Matthew’s thoughts, but will share that later.

Also, I feel the need to say to our friends, family, and those who have the wrong idea about the blessing of our marriage.  In no way was our marriage invalid (in our eyes or the eyes of the church) before this blessing.  Because Matthew will be an Orthodox priest someday (Lord willing), it is important that he receive every sacrament available to him.  Even if this were not case, we would have been glad to receive this blessing from God.

Finally, if  you have found your way here researching the Orthodox marriage blessings for those who have joined the Orthodox church after marriage, please feel free to leave a message, question, or comment.  I had a terrible time trying to find information, and I will be glad to share what I know with you.

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Adeline’s Improved Dance

25 Jun

Adeline and I went for a leisurely walk this evening.  As we strolled by the chapel, she heard the organist rehearsing.  Music moves this girl!

The Days are Long, but the Years are Short

21 Jun

I saw this video posted on another blog and, as Adeline’s second birthday approaches, it really touched my heart.  That phrase is exactly true.  Though I don’t get to stay home with Adeline all day, every day, that child exhausts me…yet these two years have flown by.   This short presentation really says it all.

Image Found HERE

Click HERE to watch presentation.


							

Fathers, Fathers, Fathers

20 Jun

I’ve been blessed to have a lot of very loving ,strong men in my life.  I’m thinking of all of them (you) on this day.

My Dad

Father’s Day was only difficult for me for the first two years after he died.  The first was just a week or two after his death, the second was around the one-year anniversary of his death.  Father’s Day was never really a big deal to him.  Dad was a big, “That’s a Hallmark holiday!” kind of guy.  I agreed with him then, but as time has progressed, I’ve realized that it’s not true.  Sure, we should show our love for our parents every day, but perhaps Father’s (and Mother’s) serves as more of a reminder to children how important their parents are.  So, because we didn’t really celebrate Father’s Day, I don’t look at it with childlike nostalgia or even in the pain of his absence, but I do find myself wishing that I’d taken that day to love on him extra, for his sake and my own.

My Step-Father

Paul holds a position in my family that I never thought would exist – step-father.  Mom swore she’d never love again after dad died and we all thoroughly believed her!  Time healed and Paul entered our lives and is here to stay.  He loves his girls and his grandsons very much, it’s obvious.  And he loves my mother dearly, which makes him a keeper in my eyes.  I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “The best gift a father can give his children is to love their mother.”  Well, it works in step-father land, too.  He entered our family when we all of us children were grown, and so no parenting duties have been necessary.  But to see Mom’s loneliness gone and to know that she is loved means the world to me.

All of our Priests

We’ve been blessed to have known and been under the spiritual care of many a wonderful Father. Fr. Jim in Indiana taught us about liturgy, parish life, and was there for us as we discerned Matthew’s call to ministry.  He’s a very strong, quiet leader who loves his flock, His God, and his family.  We learned many, many valuable things from him and on his watch, and I sometimes wonder where we would be if it weren’t for him.

Our current priest, also Fr. Jim, is also a very strong leader.  He patiently waited for us as we found our way into Orthodoxy, guided us when we asked, and stepped back to let us figure things out.  He believes in Matthew and loves our family.  We know we couldn’t be in a better place in this stage in our life.  We are forever grateful to both of our Fr. Jims!

There have been many other priests/pastors along the way.  Some ushered us into Orthodoxy, others sat and watched quietly, while others were loathe to see us go.  Many of them have blessed us their prayers, guidance, and genuine love. Some of them have children, some of them do not, but all of them are wonderful Fathers to us.

My Love

I can’t say enough good things about my husband’s parenting.  Sometimes he dresses Adeline funny, doesn’t brush her hair before they leave the house, or lets her eat things I never would (or at least not in quantities that I would!), but of all the complaints for a mother to have about her child’s father, these are the most benign.  Matthew has loved that girl from the moment he knew of her existence.  Not one of the distant father stereotypes are who he is as a papa.  Dirty diapers? He’ll change them.  Crying baby?  He’ll scoop her up.  Fit throwing? He’s got it taken care of.  He would do anything for Adeline. Matthew is what a father should be. 100%.  All the way.  What a lucky wife and mother I am to witness his parenting.  What a lucky girl Adeline is to be parented by him.


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Many other fathers have blessed my life – teachers, other family members, friends.  It’s impossible to name them all here, but if you’re one of them, I hope you know it.  I hope I’ve said it to you.  And I hope all of you amazing fathers out there have a wonderful, well-deserved Father’s Day.  If you’ve not been so amazing, as it is easy for us all to fail in, I pray you give it the old college try to do for your children all that you can in the best way you know how.  It matters. We watch, and we love you.

Our Saturday

19 Jun

Matthew hasn’t been able to sleep in for months.  So, when Adeline woke up this morning I flipped off the monitor, shushed her, and fed and readied the two of us for the day.  I figured that our best bet for not waking Papa was to leave for a bit, so Adeline and I decided to run to some rummage sales.

Lines is an excellent rummager.  When we stop in front of a sale she says, “Ready? Otay, Mama!  Ready!”  I load her into her umbrella stroller, arm myself with Triscuits, and we shop. She generally keeps her arms and hands to herself and chats with whoever will listen and reply when expected. Today was no different – she was an excellent shopping partner.  Unfortunately, we found nothing!   When I was loading her into her car seat after a particularly disappointing sale, I had my car keys in my mouth while buckling her in.  She took them out of my mouth and put them in hers.  I said, “No, don’t do that. I had the keys in my mouth because one needs at least three arms to deal with an Adeline, but I only have two!”  Adeline replied, “Yeah…Sorry, Mama!”

Afterwards we came home to a very congested Matthew.  The poor man went to the urgent care clinic where he found out he had acute bronchitis, a sinus infection, and possibly pneumonia.  His x-rays came out good, so onto antibiotics he went.

Adeline and I spent the afternoon swinging, walking, and playing outside.  I remembered an idea I saw for older children, but new Adeline would love it, too.  I went into the house and got some packing tape.  We set out for a little nature walk to make these Nature Bracelets (idea found here).  She did love it!

Nature Bracelets

We continued walking until we got to the ‘house’ (the bus stop on campus).  This is Adeline’s very favorite spot to play and jump.  So, we spent quite a bit of time there jumping, running, and playing in the house.  Just about the time I was thinking about how lovely and successful our afternoon activity was, Adeline fell off of the bench in the bus stop and hit the back of her head on the floor.  Poor girl!  I scooped her up and walked the sobbing dear home.  On the way she realized that I had a lot of leaves, dirt, etc. on my shirt from picking her up. Through her sobs she said, “Mess, Mama.  Mess!” and brushed the debris from my shirt.  She also, at my prompting, told me that her name was “Nines” and she was “uhn” year old… almost “toooo!”

By the time we got home, I felt guilty about letting her play where she could get hurt like that, and promptly began fixing a preservative-filled junk dinner…complete with broccoli saturated in cheese(?) sauce to add just a little more guilt onto the pile of guilt. Guilt, guilt, guilt.  That’s probably one of the most commonly used words in mothers’ vocabulary, don’t you  think?

In any event, she seemed to enjoy her day, I certainly enjoyed the day (injury aside), and Matthew got some much-needed rest.  A rather lovely Saturday we had.

Guess who knows how to operate the camera…

11 Jun


Olivia/Adeline

8 Jun

Have you ever read the children’s book Olivia?  I hadn’t until today. I’m pretty convinced that Ian Falconer wrote it about my child and mis-titled the book.

“Olivia is good at lots of things.  She is very good at wearing people out.”

Adeline is good at mess-making.  Today she “circuit played,” as Matthew described it.  She set-up stations in the living room, dining room, and kitchen and circulated between them.  She also tossed all of her toys out of her ginormous  toy basket.

Adeline is good at singing.  She does it best when she’s supposed to be sleeping.  Songs like “Mama! Dada! Damaw!” and “Nooo! Noooo, ooooh!”  “Otay! Otay! Night!”  drift sweetly through the monitor and to the ears of her adoring parents.

Adeline is good at wearing Mama and Papa out.  It is a rarity for us to be with friends, family, or even strangers and not hear, “She’s a busy girl!”  or “She doesn’t stop for a moment, does she?!”  She’s not a bad girl by any means, but she certainly goes, goes, goes!

“Every day Olivia is supposed to take a nap…Of course Olivia’s not at all sleepy.”

It takes Adeline about, oh…thirty minutes to give up on playing and finally fall asleep.  She spends that thirty minutes trying to (and often succeeding in) breaking into her closets where her toys and books are stashed.  She stows books at small toys underneath her bed for those occasions when she cannot break in, and we often find her cuddling a random toy.  Other times she sneaks whatever is on top of her dresser, and it becomes her sleeping partner.

“…it’s time for bed…’Only five books tonight, Mommy,’ she says.”

Adeline’s a bargainer, especially at bedtime.

On the bedtime story: “More book, Mama? Pease, pease, Mama, pease?”

On brushing her teeth: “Mama turn? Nine’s turn? More!”

On going into her bedroom for the night: “Dowstairs?  Otay!” or “More baff?  Baff! Baff!”

“When they’ve finished reading, Olivia’s mother gives her a kiss and says, ‘You know, you really wear me out.  But I love you anyway.’ “

After prayers and while tucking Adeline in, I’m often thinking about all of the things I have left to do for the day.  I then promptly go downstairs, realize that I’m thoroughly exhausted, and plop down on the couch, where I then proceed to think about how much I adore that little girl.  My life is exhausting and absolutely joyful because of that twenty-five pound mass of perpetual energy.  I cannot imagine her being any different…but I am a little afraid to read any more of the Olivia books.