Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Future!

Sunday was as beautiful a summer day as you could get. It screamed for us to GO OUTSIDE, DO SOMETHING SUMMER-Y before it's too late! So after naps we rushed around, grabbed diapers and cups and bibs and shoes and sunglasses and bags and out the door we flew, all five of us, for a little walk around a lovely resort town near us.

We parked, got out the double stroller and the single stroller, and I braced myself. The streets were teaming with people and I was ready for their comments. The ones we get whenever we take our littles out. The half-whispered, "well they sure have their hands full," to the not so quiet - "oh, are they twins!? And another so soon!" I'm used to those utterings - they are the wish-I-had-a-dime-for-everytime-I-heard-that comments we receive.

But not on Sunday, on Sunday, a different comment came along. One I was not as ready for.

We were crossing the street, our little parade of strollers, and an older gentleman was crossing opposite us. He smiled at us (I braced myself for one of the familiar comments, ready to nod my head and smile), he lifted his arms out to my littles and cried out joyfully, "The future, the future! All around me is the future!" I smiled and nodded because that is what I am programmed to do. But I couldn't let his words go. They followed me through the stores and art galleries, up and down the sidewalk along the water, and down to the park where we ate dinner.

Because it hit me. Yes, the children are the future, but it was more than that. These particular children were MY future. The path I was on now included them and their path included me.  Because I know they are the future - and I want them to grow-up to know that what they do matters, who they are matters, no matter what profession or vocation or whatever-you-want-to-call it they choose. Brain surgeon or truck driver or engineer or grocery store clerk. If they are saying "yes" to God in their life then wooeee will I be one proud mama.

Well, and then it got a little more personal, because it reminded me that what I do matters.  The lessons I teach them and the kindness I try to show them and the gratitude I try to live, well, it matters. I get so caught up in all the logistics of three young children - the butts wiped, the faces washed, diapers changed, shoes put on, mouths fed, screams hushed, cries soothed. And there are some days when I collapse on the couch and survey the dirty house and pile of dishes and swirl of dog hair under the chair and wonder, "What did I do all day?"

And somedays I believe the lie that I did nothing, that I should go on Pinterest and find some more educational activities for my littles or I should really go sign them up for this and that class, or that gosh darn it tomorrow will be the day that I tackle the piles of laundry.

But that is the lie. That parenting is in achieving and doing and cleaning and making neat. Each day with my littles I am recognizing that lie in my life, and trying (and mostly failing, if I'm honest) to let it all go. To enjoy my littles and to realize that what I do with them and show them and act towards them matters.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Story of You

Today I celebrate my wee-est little one. One year ago I got to see her face to face for the first time. I was already in love, but the bond was cemented in the first look, the first brush of finger against soft baby skin. I knew right then that she was the miracle I never knew I needed.

These days when I take the littles out this comment invariably gets uttered by some stranger, "Oh wow, twins and then another one so soon? Aren't you brave."

At which point I want to laugh. Brave? Not the least bit. I am the most fraidy-cat person I know. A planner and dreamer and prideful son-of-a-gun who likes to know how things will turn out. Who likes to touch a toe into the waters to test before she gets in too deep. Heaven forbid I try something I may not be good at and look a fool. I can plan and scheme my way out of anything to preserve my image.

You think after my planning and scheming of starting a family in my timeline faltered and flopped I would have learned. You think after months of crying in bathroom stalls and more months of drugs and treatments and procedures I would have learned. I thought I had learned.

All of our plans, our dreams, our best thoughts for how our life will go are nothing but illusions of control. The grasping at straws at the notion that life works as an if/then statement.

After the treatments and the hallelujah positive pregnancy test and the news of twins and rough pregnancy and bed rest came the most beautiful creatures I had ever seen. A beautiful girl. A handsome boy. They were not a part of my initial plans. They were the product of a journey focused on hope and forged on trust in a God who does indeed fulfill the desires of our hearts. In his own time. In a way more beautiful than we could have imagined. In a journey in which we realize that its not the end game that matters. Its the things we are being opened to, made aware of along the way.

But how easily I fell back into my old habits. The need for control. The planning. The belief that my life was back to normal. The twins were in a routine, sleeping through the night, things were all rose-colored glasses and half-full cups! There had not been time for testing the waters here - newborns don't allow for such a luxury, but after 9 months I was proud of what we had accomplished and conquered. We had made it through the better part of infant twin-dom!

And I had even been coming around to my husband's notion that we were done with kids with just these two. I had even uttered to my mom, "We know our odds of getting pregnant naturally - if God wants us to have another one, he's going to have to work a miracle."

And then the pink lines. The stunned look I saw reflected in my husband's face. This just could not be. This was not in my plans. This was not how I thought it, life, would be.

But then, there you were. All 8 pounds of wondrous you. And in that first moment I held you, I learned all over again. We won't always get what we think we want. The safe and tame plan might just yield the safe and tame, but the wild and crazy reality is what builds a story.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I tend to negate the present. I live for what will be, this five-year goal, and that thing I will achieve down the road. So lately I am trying to live in the present, enjoy what each day brings: the things I can revel is now that I might not be able to in 5 years when we have kids. The trips we can take, the time Kevin and I can spend together, the long walks I can take with Brody, and the basic selfishness I can have at this moment in my life.

And this isn't easy. Unfortunately, I was born a coveter - always wanting something else. In high school I could not wait until I graduated and got the heck out of dodge. In college, I couldn't wait to "be an adult" with a real job. Now I find myself looking back and wishing I could have told my 15 and 20 year old selves to just settle down and enjoy. Changing my coveting attitude and appreciating what I have now is not as easy as repeating the 10th commandment over and over. It comes with learning the beauty in the small things I have now. The awareness that God has given me what I need for this moment in time. The security I have in my future because, ultimately, my life is in God's hands.

So I don't have this or that or my five-year plan is tracking more to be a 10-year plan. I have today and in the words of Mother Teresa, "We have only today. Let us begin."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Though the world looks bright in a different light, it’s hard to understand the dark I feel inside my heart. - Rachel Diggs, Winter Sky

Sometimes you just have to let sadness run its course. You have to grieve the what might have been or could have been before you can appreciate the what is now. You can’t wish away sadness. You can’t always tell yourself to “buck up” and feel better. Sometimes pep talks fail to stitch up an open wound or rub a balm on a broken heart.

Yesterday I cried big fat tears in stall #1 at work. I tried stopping them. I tried telling myself that I was being ridiculous. I tried cheering myself up by listening to my baby brother’s ridiculous voicemail. But I still just needed to cry. To let it all out: the dissipated hope, the ache, the terrifying feel of failure.

Because sometimes you know that things are going to get better. That the world is bright in a different kind of light, but tears under fluorescent bulbs are all you can handle.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Secret Weapon of Women

The dress. Yes, my friends, the dress. Put one on and suddenly you get all of these compliments. Put one on and you somehow feel pretty, more feminine. Put one on, add some simple jewelry and you have an instant outfit – no standing in front of the closet holding up combinations of shirts, skirts, pants, sweaters, and capris together only to put it on, not like it, and start over again.

I am that someone who has spent many a day changing outfits, putting on one shirt and then another and then changing my pants and then my shoes until my husband says, “What are you doing? You looked fine with what you had one 10 minutes ago.” Yeah, well, I don’t really want to look just fine, thank-you-very-much.

So, last summer I happened upon some GREAT dress deals at Target (we are talking like $8 and $12 here) and I was hooked. I wore the flirty 50’s style shirt dress and the navy blue and white seersucker all summer long. So, when fall rolled in, I invested in two sweater dresses. One of which I am wearing today.

This past Saturday I moved my summer dresses up to the closet – ready to go once the weather gets warm enough. Ready for those days where I need a little pick-me-up, a little instant-pretty.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

climbing my family tree

I’ve been doing some genealogical research in preparation for our trip to Ireland which is both fun and maddening (going through loads of census records without getting a drop of new information can get pretty boring). Here are some of my gleaned insights on the Gormley family:

1. Don’t name your son Henry. It doesn’t seem to end well since three of the Henrys in my family tree died prematurely.
2. Don’t tell the above tidbit to your brother who then confides that Henry is their top boys name. Crap.
3. Don’t go logging. Two men have died via logging. So, dad, stay away from cutting down trees, ok?
4. People were not real original with names. In three generations there were 6 Thomases, 5 Peters, 5 Janes, 6 Henrys, 5 Sarahs, and 5 Margarets.
5. It was apparently ok to marry a cousin back in the day… thank goodness that was not in my direct family tree…

What the family tree doesn’t tell me is what provoked my widowed great-great-great-great grandfather to immigrate from Ireland with his nine children just before the potato famine in Ireland. Why did they settle in Canada before heading to Michigan? All of the census records in the world aren’t going to be able to tell me that. Which makes me want to lug a tape recorder to my three living grandparents and record their stories. Not just the where and when and what but the why and the how.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I seriously have no idea what to title this

It’s not been a good day. And it is only 10. Couldn’t sleep last night. (Bless Kevin, who put up with my whining and finally got me to go to sleep.) Woke up early (5:30) for swimming with Kelly. We drove all the way to the pool which was closed. Drove home, got ready, drove to work, had a meeting, cried. Am now miserably tired and crabby and have red eyes.

Forecast for the rest of the day is not looking to get much better either. My brother is moving to Seattle and tonight is his going away party. I know I will cry. I know my mom will cry. As my truth-telling friend Aletha said this weekend: “What is the big deal? It is not like he is dying!” Yes, I know. But he is quite possibly my best friend aside from Kevin and I am going to miss him. Horribly.

Am crying again so I am just going to stop this post right here.